Sunday, September 11, 2011

"A date that will live in infamy..."

Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke those grave and powerful words with regard to Japan's attack on the United States on December 7th, 1941. People have not forgotten that attack. It was over 65 years ago, and my have we not forgotten. Most of us were not alive on that day; many of our parents were not yet born, but we remember.

Oddly, when I got up this morning, I thought of Pearl Harbor. I think it's because today is Sunday, and the Pearl Harbor attack was on a Sunday as well. However, today is Sunday, September 11th, 2011, and it's exactly ten years after New York City was brutally and unexpectedly bombed.

Tragedy has a weird way of bringing people together. Suddenly, social status doesn't matter. Suddenly, race, business rivalries, family disputes, debts, grudges, and politics don't matter anymore. Suddenly, we're all just Americans. Did Japan awaken the sleeping giant? You bet they did.

Have you ever watched someone die? If you have, I'd think it would be something you could never forget. Well, most of America has watched thousands of people die. Live. Most of them saw it on TV, but it doesn't make it any less awful. At ten years old on September 11th, 2011, I sat in my living room, unable to tear my eyes away from the TV, and I watched thousands of people get crushed or blown up or burned alive. And that's something I'll never forget.

Whose fault is it that it happened? Did someone know about it and not report it? There are all kinds of theories. Maybe one of them is true. Who knows. But what I think some people miss is that the fault lies in the hands of those who actually did it, and they're the ones who will have to answer to the Almighty God for what they have done.

We don't always agree with what our leaders are doing about the situations across the sea and the countries that we have issues with. On a similar note, we don't always agree with what our government is doing about the economy, unemployment, illegal aliens, and many other issues. I think it's about time we started praying for our leaders, and if we already are, then to start praying for them more. I also think it's about time for some of our leaders to start taking responsibility for their own failures instead of blaming it on their predecessors, but that's an entirely different topic altogether.

Psalm 33:12 says, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance...." And verse 16: "No kind is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength..." Verses 18-19: "But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine."

Our nation was founded in the beginning on the principles of the Bible. God will always be the final authority on anything that goes on in the world, but do the people of the United States really still regard the Lord as the God of our nation? People sit around talking about taking "under God" out of our pledge, making prayer illegal at times to avoid offending people, murdering unborn children, and looking to today's trends instead of to God for direction, and we expect His blessing?

My pastor spoke this morning about Pharaoh and the Israelites. One thing he said was that God wants to deliver us even more than we want to be delivered. Even after the Israelites were rescued from bondage, they sometimes complained about their lives and said they would rather be back in Egypt where they could live comfortably under total oppression. How many times do we resist God's direction, His power, His rescue? How many Americans reject Him? The natural question that arises in light of this is why would God continue to allow this to happen? Why doesn't He just come back and take His own and destroy who oppose Him?

God is a God of mercy. He is a just God, but He's also a God of mercy. 2 Peter 3:9 says, "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance."

This song pretty much sums up what I'm talking about here. Chris Rice is awesome. Unfortunately I couldn't find this song on youtube, but the lyrics are what I'm really getting at.

So here's September 11th, here once again to throw cold water in our faces. Wake up, America. Wake up, sleeping giant. Come back to God. Pray for your leaders, for God is the only one who should be leading us.

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