The terror of the twin towers
We all remember where we were when we heard the news. And ten years hasn't dimmed the shock, horror and outrage at this attack on America, and perhaps on her symbols of material wealth and prosperity. We are all glad that Ohitler Bin Laden is dead. But is there an alternative approach to 9/11, beyond the pure justice, superpower, "they got us, so we got them back" approach?
Israel's 9/11, 605 BC
In the year 605 Israel faced it's 9/11 - Nebuchadnezzar destroyed and burnt Jerusalem - and took items from the temple of God and placed them in the temple of his god (the ancient way of saying "1-0 to our god"). The shock, the horror we cannot imagine - this was not supposed to happen. (Of course no-one should have been surprised because from Deuteronomy 28 onwards God had warned that idolatry would be punished; in 722 BC the northern kingdom had gone off into captivity; one prophet after another had warned God's people).
Here is the point: Daniel 1:2 reads "And the LORD delivered Jehoaikim king of Judah into his hand...." Far above the petty power plays of the world, stands the great Ruler of the Universe. And it was he who allowed Nebuchadnezzar to destroy Jerusalem.
The humbling of a proud nation?
I realise that Israel was a theocracy in a way that America isn't (though some in America think they are). But isn't God still in sovereign control of the universe - which includes the affairs of the world? And if so, perhaps it is possible to say that God allowed the planes to....
And if he did, perhaps he had some purposes in mind? Perhaps to humble a proud empire? Perhaps to bring to her attention the rampant greed in her financial systems?
A different attitude
I wonder if anyone in America thought that way? Dared to just think that way? (It would take a prophet with Elijah guts to say it out loud!) "What is God trying to teach us? A plane hit the Pentagon, what is God saying about our use of military power? Two planes hit the World Trade Towers, what is God saying about corporate greed?"
A different outcome?
And then, I wonder, what would the world be like today if America had dared to ask the God question ten years ago....
What if America's political masters had thought twice about military might, may the world have avoided some wars?
And what if America's financial masters had thought twice about sub-prime mortgages and every other financial instrument which encouraged greed, would the world have avoided a recession?