September 13, 2020
"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23, ESV)
I was not alive when it happened, but I will never forget the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was the final event that drew the United States into WWII. When I was a child, those memories were instilled within me as I watched WWII movies. I was reminded of the ravages of war and celebrated the heroes who freed the world. However, I do have a personal memory of the events of 9/11.
I turned on the morning news and all I could see was smoke coming from one of the towers of the world trade center. The commentators were talking about a horrible accident. Somehow a plane had lost control and crashed into the North Tower (WTC1). Then I saw the second plane hit the South Tower (WTC2). I left for the office late that morning and stopped to get gas at a local convenience store. I walked into the store and watched their TV as the South Tower collapsed into a pile of rubble. I would later learn there had also been an attack on the Pentagon, and a hijacked plane had crashed somewhere in Pennsylvania. Our country was under attack! Because we recognize it as an attack against our way of life, we came together as a nation. It was traumatic for the nation and for families but we, survived and we promised to remember.
Memories are fragile things. I am glad there are things to help us remember. Things like The Jefferson Memorial, The Lincoln Monument, The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the Vietnam Wall help us remember our history and our heroes. We need to take our children to see each of these memorials because those memories will help them make a better and safer future for themselves and their children.
We now have unrest in our country because some people lack memories of our history. Many think they do not have what they want so they let their greed lead them to loot and steal. Others let their thirst for power and control motivate them toward destructive behavior. I do not understand the "tear down culture." What lasting satisfaction does it bring by destroying something? None. The only thing left after someone has destroyed all they have is to destroy what someone else has. How can we bring peace back to our country? Jesus Christ is the way. We need to study the Bible and create memories that motivate us to live the way Christ would have us.
"They made kings, but not through me. They set up princes, but I knew it not. With their silver and gold they made idols for their own destruction." (Hosea 8:4, ESV)
Thanks for listening and keep on shining.
Nations reap what they sow just as individuals do. “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psa. 9:17). This happens partly because rebellion against God is by nature self-destructive and partly because God providentially intervenes to chastise evil societies. In terms of the latter, one of the most common forms of divine punishment is war. The Lord unleashed the Assyrians on Israel, the Babylonians on Judah, and then the Medes on Babylon. But the chastening rod in God’s hand is not always a foreign army. Sometimes it is division and fighting within.
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We call it “civil war.” For thousands of years nation after nation has experienced it. The book of Isaiah reveals that God has a hand in some of these conflicts. The prophet pictured a complete breakdown of law and order in Judah in chapter three. The result was anarchy. “The people shall be oppressed, every one by another and every one by his neighbor; the child will be insolent toward the elder, and the base toward the honorable” (Isa. 3:5). In this lawless state of chaos every man was a law to himself and respect for others vanished.
The same thing happened in other countries in Isaiah, and the Lord in His justice was involved. Consider Egypt, a nation whose time had come to reap what they had sown. God said, “I will set Egyptians against Egyptians; everyone will fight against his brother, and everyone against his neighbor; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom. The spirit of Egypt will fail in its midst” (Isa. 19:2-3). This powerful empire fell because they were so busy fighting with each other that they could not protect themselves from their enemies without.
In light of this pattern in history and in the Bible, why should we be surprised at riots and bloodshed in some of our major cities? We are a nation that has slaughtered over sixty million babies. The highest court in the land has made the perversion of same-sex marriage legal and now tyrannical governors and mayors have deemed attending church services a crime. Our land is full of greed, drunkenness, pornography and dishonesty. The infighting we are witnessing may be a just sentence from God.
The Cold War conditioned us to fear external threats to our peace and safety as a people. Perhaps it is time to recall that ancient Rome collapsed because it was rotten on the inside.
West End church of Christ