by Lloyd Streeter
The following article was written after Memorial Day in 2002 following the attack on the Twin Towers in New York. Almost 3000 people died on that day, September 11,2001.
Memorial Day has been observed. Thousands of speeches have been delivered and millions of words have gone into print and have been broadcast in the media. We pray that most Americans had a reflective, prayerful, and grateful day of remembrance of those who gave their lives in defense of our freedoms. We honor those who died, those who lost their health or limbs, and the families who suffered. We salute the men and women who are fighting for America today. Our children and grandchildren would have a dismal future if it were not for those who fought for America in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and in the War on Terror.
Some things are clear now, much clearer than they were on September 11. We know now that America is being attacked because of our Judeo-Christian heritage and because of America’s support for Israel. Osama Ben Laden said in a video broadcast two weeks ago that his kind will continue to attack America because we are friends to the Jews. Osama and his kind do not want Israel to exist. Out of hatred for the Jews they will bomb, kill, and destroy. But America should never cease to support Israel. God will never allow the Jews to be completely destroyed because He has a great future for them according to Bible prophecy. There will one day be a world-wide Jewish kingdom when Jesus Christ sits on the throne of David at Jerusalem. In that day, there shall be unending peace, prosperity, good will, and universal good health for all of earth’s inhabitants. Until that kingdom age of our Lord Jesus Christ arrives, we should remember that the nations of the world are going to be judged by God for how they treat the Jews. In Genesis 12:1-3, we read what God said at the time that He called Abraham and elected Israel to be His chosen people. He said to Abraham, “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
During the present crisis, we should try to be at our best spiritually and morally. When England was being bombed every night and every day in WW II, Winston Churchill gave a stirring speech in which he expressed the hope that a thousand years later the world would still be saying, “This was their finest hour.”
So we ask, will this be one of our finest hours? If we are to be at our best, we must lay aside partisan politics as they relate to the war. It does no good to point fingers and try to fix blame on one another for the September 11 attack. When some senators tried to do that recently, they did not serve their country well.
If we are going to be at our best, we must be grateful for America. We have enjoyed both bounty and safety. These are gifts from God. Remember that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” [James 1:17] Thank God for all His blessings on America!
If we are to be at our best, reliance on God must replace self trust. David wrote, “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.” [Psalm 119:67] There was a renewed interest in religion after September 11, but we have already begun to let that slip away. We cannot afford the error of self reliance. Our hope must be in the Lord.
If we are to be at our best, we must hold high our President and our military. Hold them high in your prayers. Hold them high in your support. We must not allow our armed forces to be weakened or our intelligence community to be decimated. Jesus taught us that “When a strong man armed keepth his palace, his goods are in peace: but when a stronger than he shall come upon him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.” [Luke 11:21-22]
On September 16, the first Sunday after the attack on America, I said in my morning sermon, “It may be that President Bush has come to the kingdom for such a time as this.” I was, of course, referring to the passage in the Old Testament book of Esther. It has certainly proven to be true that President Bush has served our country well. He is not bashful about his faith in God. He bows his head while others are leading in prayer instead of looking all around the room or talking to others. He prays publicly, leading his country in prayer. He has said often in personal letters and to individuals on a personal basis, “Thank you for your prayers. It means a lot to me.”
The President is relying on God. He has not made many mistakes. He deserves our support.
When President Bush closed his address to the nation on September 13, he said, “Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safely and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a Power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.'” It was good to hear our President talk like this.
September 11 was a wake up call to America. God took center stage. He deserves to be there all the time and forever! Wake up, America! Wake up, Christians! Do right and be right! The Bible says, “Awake thou that sleepeth. . . .” [Ephesians 5:14]