Today we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of September 11. This was a momentous occasion in American history, and for some reason I just wasn’t getting into all the spirit of remembrance of this day. That was until I opened the book of Nehemiah in the Bible. There was something similar that happened to the Jews in Nehemiah. Nehemiah 1:3 – “3 They said to me, ‘Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.'”
It was when Nehemiah heard this that he “wept and mourned for many days” and he was “fasting and praying before the God of heaven.” Nehemiah 1:4
He earnestly cried to God during this time, and America did as well after September 11. King Artaxerxes (of Babylon), who he was the cupbearer for, asked him why he was so sad. Nehemiah said “Why should my face not be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire?” This was the same sentiment that America carried when 9/11 happened. The king asked Nehemiah what was his request, and he requested a leave of absence so that he may go and rebuild the city after praying to the God of heaven.
We also went to rebuild the city and the nation as we recovered from this incident. They worked day and night and night and day trying to rebuild the place. Sanballat (the Horonite), Tobiah (the Ammonite), and Geshem (the Arab) laughed at and despised Nehemiah for trying to rebuild the city. When they heard that the rebuilding of the city was going to go through, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the Ashdodites conspired to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion [Nehemiah 4:8], but that didn’t stop Nehemiah and the builders because they prayed to God. When the people were discouraged and afraid that they didn’t have enough to rebuild and that people might attack, Nehemiah said, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.” They faced criticism and problems, but they finished rebuilding the wall.
It was at this time that Sanballat and Geshem, asked to meet with Nehemiah, but he knew it was a trap and they were out to destroy his life. They were trying to make him afraid and sin. The wall was build on the 25th of Elul. September 11, 2001 happened on the 23rd of Elul.
The rest of the story you can read for yourself in Nehemiah, but God has a plan when things go awry, and when people are in fear. God is with them, if they reach out to him, and not continue to sin.
We as a nation have/had fallen so far away from God, that this was/is a wake up call. It should have never happened, just like Jerusalem should not have been destroyed, but it did, so what can we do- we as Americans can rebuild the nation, and we as a Church should rebuild and refortify the walls of the Church to defend our faith and be the army of God and fight the good fight of faith. The thing about this good fight of faith is that it is a good fight and we will always win as long as we are centered on God who is revealed through His Son, Christ.
Let us pray first for the peace of Jerusalem, and let us also pray for this nation. Like it or not we are connected to Israel, and God knows that so He warns, sympathizes, and reveals to us through His Word what are to do as a nation.