walk in the word
Category: Attitudes, God’s Character, Problems, Relying on God, Sin / Suffering / Satan
“I want to kill them! I want to hurt them big time, and then watch them writhe in pain, right before my eyes! Oh, if I could just get my hands on them . . . “
Tuesday, September 11, 2001 began like most other weekdays for me. I’m a morning person, and the quiet, early hours are very special for me. As I spent time in God’s Word and on my knees before Him, I prayed eagerly, “What will you bring today, Lord? What do you have planned for me? I am available to You, God. Please use me in whatever way You wish to spread the fame of Your name.”
Little did I know just how appropriate that prayer would be. Shortly after arriving at the church, I heard the news that an airplane had tragically crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers. I listened and watched in horror as the reports flooded in. What initially appeared to be an isolated accident quickly escalated into an intentional terrorist attack like nothing this country had ever witnessed before. The day, which began as “just another Tuesday,” became a day that will forever go down in national—even world—history.
In times like these, people expect pastors to have something helpful to say, something that makes sense of the situation. Whew, what a task! I mean, what are you supposed to say after such a catastrophic event? I’m so thankful that God doesn’t expect me to come up with something brilliant on my own. No, He has provided His Word for this very purpose—to communicate His unchanging truth to our changing world.
Many people I talked with expressed feelings of outrage and asked questions like, “Who would ever do such a thing? How could this happen in our country? What should we do to bring about justice?” As I struggled with personal feelings of anger and my own desire for justice, my thoughts turned to several verses of Scripture:
No question, we live in a day of incredible injustice. Everything within us cries out for vengeance. And if we’re honest with ourselves, we’d love to see the perpetrators of evil punished before our eyes.
But the message of God’s Word is diametrically opposed to our natural longings. We are not to seek vengeance ourselves, because God has promised that He will. He sees what’s going on, He knows who’s at fault, He won’t forget, and He will settle the score. Our God is the God of justice, and we can trust Him to do what is right. All the time.
“Well, what can I do?” you may be asking. Here are a few suggestions:
Pray . . .
Reach Out . . .
And finally, join me in taking comfort in these words from Psalm 46:1-2, 9-10:
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea . . . He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariots with fire. ‘Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’ The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.”
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