THE BRICKS HAVE FALLEN… Today, our 2019 Gregorian calendar marks the 18th anniversary of what has become known as the infamous 9/11.These September 11 assaults of 2001 killed 2,996 people, including the 19 perpetrators, and became the deadliest attack on US soil in our history.
America was deeply affected forever by these atrocities. Fear and anger have taken root in our country and in the hearts of many Christians. Today, we desperately need a lesson from the Almighty to set us on the path of righteousness and forgiveness. Right on target, God has provided a 2750-year-old lesson about another nation who pledged their allegiance to God Almighty, then in the midst of assault and destruction by their enemies, haughtily announced their independence from Him. In arrogance and pride, they chose to exalt themselves by trusting in their own national might and agenda for deliverance from their enemies. It was a mistake that would bring about the downfall of their nation. And it’s certainly a mistake that should never again be repeated by any nation who calls on God as its benefactor and defender.
God’s blessing had been upon Israel since the days of the patriarch Abraham. “I will build a great nation from you. I will bless you and make your name famous. People will use your name to bless other people. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you. I will use you to bless all the people on earth.” Genesis 12:2-3.
God protected and preserved Israel over and over again. But it wasn't long before the nation moved from their humble stance under the watch care of the Lord, to the humanistic, proud notion that they alone could, and should, deliver themselves from their enemies. Their haughty, prideful statement following an assault on their nation, provoked God’s judgment upon them and the nation God called the apple of His eye was rent in two, plundered, and its capital city and national place of worship burnt to the ground.
Isaiah 9:8-10 delivers the context of Israel’s defiant stance and God's responding judgment 2750 years ago. "The Lord sent a word against Jacob, and it has fallen on Israel. All the people will know—Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria—who say in pride and arrogance of heart: ‘The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with hewn stones; the sycamores are cut down, but we will replace them with cedars’”
On the day after September 1, 2001, America placed herself in God's sight, aligning herself on His calendar with the very same infamous statement which provoked His judgment. Unbelievably, an elected United States government official stood and made this same verbal, prideful, arrogant vow on behalf of OUR nation. “There is a passage in the Bible, from Isaiah, that I think speaks to all of us at times like this. ‘The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone; fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars…’”
The same vow was repeated several years later on September 11, 2004, when another national politician made the same vow at the Congressional Black Caucus Prayer Breakfast. "The bricks have fallen, but we will build - with dressed stones: the sycamores have been cut down, but we will put cedars in their place….’ Let me show you how we are building and putting cedars in those three hallowed places, the Towers, the Pentagon and the Field. Walk with me through this day and you will see that while those bricks fell and the sycamores cut down, our people are making those cedars rise.. . Each time that bell tolls it calls us to a greater purpose. To never forget: it calls us to always remember that when we walk together this day that the cedars will rise and the stones will go up.”
It’s hard to even begin to understand how on earth Israel’s historic, defiant vow of independence from God Almighty recorded in Isaiah 9:10, has now become America's publicly announced vow for her future, not once, not twice, but a continued count to today of 5 TIMES! Do we really think God has stopped listening to the prideful rhetoric of any nation that has pledged itself to be "one nation, under God", and then defiantly proclaimed their ability as a nation to stand on their own in the face of national disaster? Could it be that the official public announcement of this vow sealed America’s future judgment just like the ancient nation of Israel?
Or is it possible, by bowing to God alone, revering His timeline of lessons for mankind, that we have just received the wisdom of the Almighty warning our nation to repent of the very same sin that brought down the mighty nation of Israel? Could this be the intervening hand of the King of Kings, stretching forth across the centuries of time, through the power of His perfectly appointed word, delivering His warning letter to America just like He did to the remnant of Israel 2750 years ago?
But it isn’t just a problem of pride and arrogance. We have become divided as Christians over the very issues that should unite us. Indeed, most of us today do not even know a thing about those who attacked us so brutally on 9/11. We only know the legacy of anger, fear and prejudice it has left behind to this day
Here are some facts about the perpetrators of 9/11. According to a 2004 staff report of the National Commission on Attacks Upon the United States, all 19 came here legally on valid visas. 14 came in on six-month visas and 4 came in on business visas. 1 of them had a student visa, and he piloted the plane flown into the Pentagon. 3 of the men that flew the planes received their flight training in Florida, where they had lived for well over a year. They all had obtained US IDs in the form of driver’s licenses and ID cards obtained from Florida, Virginia, California, and New Jersey, which allowed them to legally board flights. Indeed, it was later found that between them they had 63 state driver’s licenses.
All 19 men were affiliated with al-Qaeda. 15 were citizens of Saudi Arabia. 1 was from Egypt. 2 were from the United Arab Emirates, and 1 was from Lebanon. Under current visa restrictions, called “travel bans” on Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen, every single one of the 9/11 terrorists could gain entry LEGALLY into the United States TODAY!
They were well-educated men with degrees from US universities. 2/3 of the 25 attackers and planners involved in 9/11 had attended college. All 12 of the men involved in the World trade center assaults had a college education. The 9/11 pilots, as well as their accomplices, all attended Western universities. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the master-mind of the entire plot received an engineering degree from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in 1986. Today, he is still alive, held at a Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
Any initial assumption that we must guard against crazed, ignorant law-breakers is flawed, as proven by the above facts. Every single one of the 9/11 attackers had entered the US legally on approved visas by flying in through our airports. Walls wouldn't have stopped them, or issues of illegality.
We are focused on the wrong thing. As Christians, we should understand the real problem was the evil BENT of their heart, which is EXACTLY the issue right now with many Christians. Instead of seeing Christ's entire mission as one of forgiveness and love, there are those who seek to reduce it down to a mere matter of Him telling us that EVERYBODY must obey the laws of the land and protect their own by building walls to keep people out. As has been stated so eloquently by Jesus, that is simply just giving to Caesar what is his.
But if we give the Lord what is His, and love Him with all our heart, soul, strength and mind; then the rest of the verse, which is “Love your neighbor as yourself” will definitely not be a problem for ANY of us.
This is a HEART issue for us, just as it was with the 9/11 perpetrators.
Lord, please forgive us, for we have sinned MIGHTILY against you!
THE BRICKS HAVE FALLEN…