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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Forgotten promises

On September 11, four passenger airliners were hijacked by 19 al-Qaeda
terrorists so they could be flown into buildings in suicide attacks, (also
referred to as 9/11). These were a series of four coordinated terrorist
attacks launched by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda upon the United
States in New York City and the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area on
Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The attacks killed almost 3,000 people and
caused at least $10 billion in property and infrastructure damage. (In part
from Wikipedia.)

I'm passionate as I remember these events. I remember clearly watching the
Morning New Programs that morning and seeing these events play out. I called
my father and mother and told them to turn on the news and see what was
happening. I remember the panic this caused in our community. People started
panic buying thinking it was the beginning of a war. Cars and trucks lined
up at gas stations believing there would be a shortage and I remember the
gas stations taking advantage of the panic and marking the gas up to $10 per

I also remember the change in our society that took place at that time.
Suddenly people realized that they needed something they couldn't provide
for themselves, something their jobs and their money couldn't provide. They
needed hope! They needed assurance that there was someone who could offer
them what they could not find anywhere else.

In droves people flooded into the churches of our land. There were prayer
vigils that lasted all night long, there were special services and
gatherings in the churches throughout our land, hoping and praying for
assurance. There were thousands of people who made promises to God that they
would change their lives, they recommitted themselves to the values which
are found in God's Word. It was a nation wide revival!

I also remember that the fear that fueled this revival soon was lost when
people realized it wasn't the end of the world, that it wasn't World War
three. I remember all of the broken promises which were made to God. I
remember all of the commitments that weren't commitments at all, only a
kneejerk reaction.

No, people haven't forgotten 9/11, but they have forgotten that God needs to
be a part of their lives every day, not just in times of crisis.

Let each of us remember 9/11 and the terrible things that took place with
both anger and sorrow for what was done. But perhaps some of that anger and
sorrow needs to motivate us to repentance as we remember we have abandoned
our promises to God. If you don't, then don't be surprised when he abandons
you in your time of need.

The writer of proverbs shares God's thoughts about this with us in Proverbs
1:24-28. Listen to his words. "But since you refuse to listen when I call
and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, since you disregard
all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh when
disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you when calamity
overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind,
when distress and trouble overwhelm you. Then they will call to me but I
will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me." (NIV)

Russ Lawson

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