Hope After Terrorism
Remembrance of 9/11
Do We Remember?
A specter of fear haunts
this memorial of 9/11. The threat of chemical, biological and even
nuclear terror attacks
real. An attack on Iraq, in spite of warnings from Arab oil- producing
nations, could precipitate a worldwide energy crisis besides a
high body count.
Actually, the world faces
multiple crises. The TIME MAGAZINE (August 26) observed:
Imagine a future of
relentless storms and floods; islands and heavily inhabited coastal
regions inundated by rising sea levels; fertile soils rendered
barren by drought
and the desertís advance; mass migrations of environmental
refugees; and armed conflicts over
water and other precious natural resources.
WHY? Manís greed has turned the elements of
nature against himself.
Yet, the God and Creator of the Universe
assures us He caresóHe shares our afflictions (Isaiah 63:9). Not
that God literally cries, but God uses the imagery of shedding
ďtearsĒ even when we are wayward, to assure us of His love and
concern (Jeremiah 9:1, 17-18, JPS).
Does God Permit Evil?
God knew humankind could
only be happy individually and collectively if each one loved and
obeyed Godís laws for the well being of all. God also knew that
due to a lack of experience with the consequences of violating His
moral and environmental laws, man would disobey these laws. A
parent will tell a baby not to touch the stove because it is hot.
But what does a baby know about pain? Inevitably the baby will
touch the stove. Before that, a wise parent will lightly and
quickly place the childís hand where the heat is not too severe.
Likewise, God is giving mankind a controlled experience with the
consequences of violating these laws.
Knowing man would disobey,
God lovingly planned for manís redemption through Jesusí death
BEFORE God even created the earth (1 Peter 1:19-20). This meant
His fatherly heart would be deeply grieved as He watched man
trampled down by manís own machinations of evil. Yet God has
wonderful loving thoughtsórecorded in the Bibleóconcerning
manís restoration to His favor. Yes, Paul said in 1
Corinthians 15:22, "as in Adam all die,"
he continues, "so in Christ shall all be made alive" in
Godís Kingdom. Why? Because Jesus died "a ransom for
all" (1 Timothy 2:6; Hebrews 2:9).
First, God is training
Christians to reign with Christ in his Kingdom as sympathetic
priests and kings (Revelation 20:6). While the minds of men are
now scarred and twisted by tragedy, Christians experience the same
disasters but are helped and made compassionate by the holy
Spirit. Why? So that they will be able to heal the minds of their
fellowmen when they come forth to their probation or trial time in
the Kingdom (John
5:28-29, NAS, NRSV). With a vivid remembrance of the bitter
effects of sin and evil, mankind will learn the joyful rewards of
living righteously and then make their choice for eternity
The question is no longer
Ė Why do good people suffer? Rather, Why has God permitted a
horrific human history of blood, tragedy, pain and mental anguish
that would tear away at His fatherly emotions of love?