“Our God is Sovereign Still”
First Published: September 13, 2001
The phrase comes to mind: “a day that will live infamy.” The events of Tuesday morning have left us all befuddled, fearful, angry, longing for justice, but blindly flailing at faceless, nameless adversaries.
What shall we say to such things? Needless to say, our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones. Nothing can quench the pangs of their pain. And we marvel at the bravery of rescue workers. We seethe at the wickedness of such inhuman acts of violence. We contemplate what ought to be the strategic response of our nation and its allies. We speculate as to what will happen next and whether we will see justice done. And we ask hard questions like, how did our nation’s intelligence system fail to see this coming? Yes, I know we think all those things. But I meant something a little different. What do we, as Christians, say to all this? How do we process this biblically?
Well, the first thing is this – what a kind providence that here at First Presbyterian Church, God has had are hearts meditating, Lord’s Day after Lord’s Day, in Romans 8 and 9 over these past few months. No passage in all of the Bible could be more important for us to grasp at such a time as this. The truth of his sovereignty rings clearly in moments of crisis like these, and when it is heard, even “when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,” our “hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong.” Thank God that he is Lord. He sits in heaven and laughs his enemies to scorn. He is the God of Hosts and mighty in battle. Don’t every let anyone tell you that Scripture is irrelevant. We know, now better than ever, from experience even, just how timely it is. Praise God for his sovereignty and Word.
Second, we remember the words of Moses “Lord, teach us to number our days.” Thousands of people went to work in New York and Washington on Tuesday who will never go home to their families again. Perhaps they thought of it as a day like any other day. But it wasn’t. Are we ready to meet our Maker? Or do we presume that life will just go on?
Finally, there’s the matter of the human heart. We live in a society and culture where the sense of sin has been lost. The educational elite of our land work hard to assure their students that “people are basically good.” But such a philosophy is as foolish as it looks in light of the unspeakable tragedy of September 11, 2001. People are (apart from grace) deep down, evil. We are, all of us, capable of cosmic treason. We need the Lord. Pray that some will learn that lesson even in this crisis – that God would use the wrath of men as a stratagem of grace.