This past September 11th marked the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack upon our nation. The day after the attack, September 12, 2001, Tom Daschal, the Senate Majority Leader at the time, addressed a joint session of Congress, in which he said: “America will emerge from this tragedy as we have emerged from all adversity—united and strong. Nothing can replace the losses of those who have suffered. I know there is only the smallest measure of inspiration that can be taken from this devastation. But there is a passage in the Bible from Isaiah that speaks to all of us at times like this.” He then went on to read Isaiah 9:10: “The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.”
On the third anniversary of the 9/11/01 attack, Senator John Edwards, who was running for vice president at the time, also invoked Isaiah 9:10 in a campaign speech, promising those in attendance that America was doing exactly what the “Lord’s Word” instructs, namely, “rebuilding with hewn stone and planting cedars.”
In the summer of 2012, while visiting the new World Trade Center building site at Ground Zero in New York City, President Barack Obama scrawled a message on a steel girder that read: “We remember, We rebuild, We come back stronger!”
The problem with these biblically illiterate politicians invoking Isaiah 9:10 as an appropriate response to the 9/11 terrorist attack upon our nation is that this verse is actually the arrogant and defiant response of an unrepentant Israel to God’s warning of impending judgment. To prove Israel’s vulnerability and to warn them of His coming judgment upon them at the hands of their enemies, God allowed an enemy attack upon Israel in hopes of humbling the nation and leading it to repent and return to Him. However, instead of being humbled and repenting, Israel was disdainful and defiant. They insisted upon their invulnerability and dismissed any possibility of impending judgment. Furthermore, they bragged that they could rebuild and recover stronger than ever before from any occurrence of divine retribution suffered over their rebellion against God.
I’ve studied the subject of revival for years, both revival in the Bible and the great revivals of history. Although there is much I still don’t understand about revival, there is one thing I know for sure: ALL REVIVAL IS BORN IN DESPERATION!
As long as we believe we can solve our problems through the political process, there will be no revival in America. As long as we believe our country is only one election away from being turned around, there will be no revival in America. As long America’s preachers refuse to preach sure and certain judgment, there will be no revival in America. As long as the church remains at ease in Zion over its hope of revival in America, instead of covered with sackcloth over the hopelessness of our present situation, there will be no revival in America.
On the other hand, if we ever face up to the helplessness and hopelessness of America’s present situation and turn to God in utter desperation, who knows what God may do? It’s time for us to get serious about prayer and to get desperate on our knees before God in our personal prayer closets and church prayer meetings. After all, these are desperate times calling for desperate measures!