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Terrorists, Tragedies and Trusting in Christ: A Look at Two Towers

By Dillon T. Thornton | Port Chalmers, Dunedin, New Zealand

Eleven years later, and we probably all still remember exactly where we were when we heard the tragic news of the terrorist attack of 9/11. Ironically, I sat in a speech class at Samford University. One minute we were discussing the components of an effective speech, the next minute we all found ourselves speechless.

Sept. 11, 2001, will live in infamy; but many other days will keep it company. Infamy is, of course, the same word Franklin D. Roosevelt used in his presidential address to Congress on Dec. 8, 1941, one day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Dec. 7, he said, would live in infamy. I'm adding Sept. 11, 2001, to the list; and my assumption is that if we live long enough, we will see many other days make this list, as well. Sept. 11 was not the first tragic day in American history, and it certainly will not be the last.

So, the question I want to address here is: How should believers respond to tragedies such as this? What should we say? Should we proclaim to the world that these tragic events are God's judgment upon sin? What should we do? Do we take justice into our own hands, doing whatever it takes to get back at those who have hurt us? What should we believe? Are we to think God fell asleep on the job on Sept. 11, that His sovereignty temporarily ceased because He was slumbering? These are important questions to consider. When terrorists attack and when tragedies occur, what should be the response of the Christian? As always, Scripture provides the answer. I want us to take just a few moments to look at two biblical towers—Babel and Siloam—and let's see what these towers can teach us about the terrorist attack of 9/11 and all tragic events for that matter.|

The Tower of Babel

(It will be helpful for you to read the story before we unpack it together.)

"Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, 'Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.' And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, 'Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.' And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. And the LORD said, 'Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech.' So the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth. And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth" (Genesis 11:1-9).

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