The WTC Disaster --- What is God Saying?
The first thing that comes to mind is Amos 3:6, "When disaster comes to a city, has not the LORD caused it?" This one verse keeps us from thinking that God could not possibly have been involved in the WTC disaster. Some said that God could not have been involved because He is loving and merciful. Indeed, He is loving and merciful. But He is the creator and definer and revealer of love and mercy, not us. And His overview is eternal, not temporal. The story of Job is mentioned in the book of James as a testament to God's compassion and mercy. But if we were sitting in the ashes scraping our sores with a pottery shard having just lost all of our possessions and children (in a building that collapsed), would we be patient and longsuffering, confident that God was working in our lives because He loves us and desires to demonstrate His compassion and mercy through us? We cannot jump to conclusions that God was not involved in this disaster. God rules the universe and Satan is an underling in the scheme of things. And as revealed in the case of Job, God allows Satan to come against His children FOR REDEMPTIVE PURPOSES. The falling of the twin towers was for redemptive purposes. In the short term it looks like Job sitting in the ashes. But we should praise God rather than coming before Him in counsel without wisdom as did Job's three friends. Of course it was Satan who piloted the planes, but God let him do it. God has redemptive purposes in mind which will ultimately lead to Satan's defeat.
It was disturbing to read the prophetic statements that came forth following the disaster. Some said it was a judgment from God. Some said God had nothing to do with it, and that it was solely by the hand of Satan because we are on the side of Israel. The two viewpoints are as different as night and day, and reveal that we do not know our God as we should. Satan is not the boss and is under the absolute authority of God. He cannot attack God's children without God's approval.
So what then can we say that is not also counsel without wisdom? We can say, based on Scripture, that Satan is like a mad dog on a leash and is only allowed to inflict evil on God's creation as God allows. And we can say that God allows it only for redemptive purposes. Over and over in the Old Testament, God allowed the surrounding nations to come against Israel for redemptive purposes in order that Israel would repent and turn back to God. Both the falling of the tower of Siloam in Jesus' time and the falling of the twin towers in our day were promptings from our Heavenly Father calling us to repentance so that we might be saved. For He desires that none should perish. The seriousness of the warning should give us some inkling of the seriousness of not heeding it.
But there is more going on here than meets the eye. Although Job repented in the light of God's glory, God had already declared Job a righteous man. The assaults of Satan against God's elect are not always directly related to the sin of the individual suffering from the assault. Jesus on the cross is the prime example of that. In the case of Job, God wanted to demonstrate something to Satan, and God had to pick a righteous man who could pass the test. In our day, God is pitting Satan against His Church for redemptive purposes which will eventually result in Satan's defeat. For it is through the Church that God desires to demonstrate His wisdom to the powers and authorities (Satan and his fallen angels). As the Church responds to Satan's assaults in the wisdom of the cross of Jesus Christ, Satan will be defeated. Good will overcome evil, though it may well cost the physical lives of the good. Jesus has given His Church the power and authority to crush Satan underfoot. But that crushing will be by the power of God released as the Church responds to Satan's assaults in the wisdom of the cross of Jesus Christ. It will be as we, the Church, allow ourselves to be physically crushed that Satan will be spiritually and ultimately crushed. For that is God's ultimate purpose in Christ Jesus and the reason for which He created all things (Ephesians 3:8-11). It is a glorious and victorious destiny that we, the Church, are called to . . . and let us understand that the Church discussed here is not the ecumenical stew that is so proudly being proclaimed these days, but only those reborn through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. And such a narrow-minded view will increasingly draw the wrath of the nations such that Jesus proclaimed that we, those who are His disciples, will be increasingly hated and ultimately put to death by those nations of the world --- those who have a broader minded, "more tolerant" approach to spiritual "truths". But, praise God, this is the very means by which the Saints will defeat Satan. "They overcame him (Satan) by the Blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony, and by loving not their lives unto death (Rev 12:11)." So by "losing" the battle physically, we win it spiritually.
The falling of the twin towers and the other disasters that happened that day are the indicator of things that are going to come in increasing frequency and intensity. Let us repent and turn to God that He might heal our land and delay further such judgment. But in the long run, we know how this is going to end. All of the cities of the world will fall (Revelation 16:19). So ultimately the cities of the nations do not repent. Amidst the increasing judgments that are coming, the Bible says, "And still they did not repent." Only a remnant who lives in those cities will repent. The road is wide to destruction and narrow to salvation. Concerning Babylon, we are counseled to "come out of her my people" so that we do not partake of her plagues. Out of the debris of a destroyed planet will be salvaged the remnant of the followers of Jesus Christ who are destined to rule and reign for eternity. So hang in there Saints. Persevere and endure to the end just like Jesus said we must. The worst . . . and the best . . . is yet to come. Jesus called these times birthpains because the glory of a birth is in view. But we must endure birthpains to experience that glorious birth.
God never did answer my question as to what the WTC disaster was specifically about. Probably there are well over 3,500 reasons known only to God. The Bible indicates that some suffer and die for righteousness sake, and some suffer and die as a judgment for sin. Undoubtedly there was some of both that took place on September 11. He did indicate that my priority was not to know all the answers to such questions, but to SEEK HIM. In that seeking, we will find the answers that God wants us to know. And perhaps more importantly, we will find, as did Job, that our questions are irrelevant and even forgotten in light of His glory. Our confusion and unrest will be swept away if we will but SEEK HIM. He is in control. He will win. Satan will lose. And everything that God allows between now and then will be turned to redemptive purposes. It is the genius of God to turn what Satan means for evil into what God means for good. And that good will eventually be victorious.
We must understand that God is going to allow the worst of evil to ever increasingly display itself on this planet as the end of the age nears. It must be displayed and it must come against the Church so that the Church can respond to it in the wisdom of the cross. The evil in the world HAS TO hate us and kill us so that we can respond in the wisdom of the cross. This is the plan that God has elected to destroy evil. Jesus said many will fall away from the faith during these times. He said that the love of most will grow cold (Matthew 24:12). It is the remnant who will stand in the power and authority of Jesus Christ, willing to demonstrate the wisdom of the cross by laying down their very lives for redemptive purposes, who will overcome Satan and emerge victorious. For out of great tribulation will emerge those who have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb (Rev 7:14).
For an article devoted solely to the enticement of satan against the saints and his resulting defeat, click here.