Today marks 21 years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when 19 horrible people flew planes into buildings. For those of us who are old enough to remember that day, we remember exactly how we felt as we saw the images of the Twin Towers burning (and collapsing), and people jumping out of windows, and chaos in the streets. In one morning, the whole world had changed, and ever since then, so much has been different; every year, more and more money is spent on national security and defense (consider what you have to go through nowadays just to be able to get on an airplane). Think of the fact that those of us who went outside and played with our friends for hours on a Saturday afternoon and came home around sunset, were the last ones to be able to do that, because the world is simply not as “safe” as it used to be.
Unfortunately too, that day still only showed a fraction of all the evil that man is capable of doing. Has the world gotten any better since then?
A few years ago, I was in New York City, and visited Ground Zero, but there was something else I wanted to see as well: the Isaiah Wall, outside the United Nations headquarters.
Inscribed on it is a verse from the prophet, about a day coming when the nations will no longer lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. The wall is not very-well maintained—a parable (for lack of a better term) of the principles that the verse reads—yet the LORD’s promise is sure, and he has put those words on record for us that they may not be forgotten: there IS a better day coming for the earth. But it will not come about by man’s rule; Joe Biden isn’t going to bring it about, nor is Donald Trump; Democrats aren’t going to do it, and neither are Republicans. The only one who can (and will) is Jesus, of whom Isaiah writes, “He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist (Isaiah 11:3-5).
Until then, the world isn’t going to get any better; in fact, it’s only going to get worse. The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy that “perilous times” would come, and it perfectly describes what we see in the world today (2 Timothy 3:1-5). But as surely as we know those times of difficulty will come, we also know and believe that the day is coming when there will be no more 9/11s, when justice will run down as waters and righteousness as an ever-flowing stream (Amos 5:24), when the lion will dwell with the lamb (Isaiah 11:6), when everyone will live under their own vine and fig tree and none shall make them afraid (Micah 4:4), when the righteous will flourish, and peace so long as the Moon endures (Psalm 72:7), when they will not hurt nor destroy in all the LORD’s holy mountain, when all the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9). The LORD will be King over all the earth; in that day there will be one LORD, and his name one (Zechariah 14:9). Amen!
Grace and peace,