This past September 11th marked the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 terroristÂ attack upon our nation. The day after the attack, September 12, 2001, TomÂ Daschal, the Senate Majority Leader at the time, addressed a joint sessionÂ of Congress, in which he said: â€œAmerica will emerge from this tragedy asÂ we have emerged from all adversityâ€”united and strong. Nothing canÂ replace the losses of those who have suffered. I know there is only theÂ smallest measure of inspiration that can be taken from this devastation. ButÂ there is a passage in the Bible from Isaiah that speaks to all of us at timesÂ like this.â€ He then went on to read Isaiah 9:10: â€œThe bricks are fallen down,Â but we will build with hewn stones: the sycamores are cut down, but we willÂ change them into cedars.â€
On the third anniversary of the 9/11/01 attack, Senator John Edwards, whoÂ was running for vice president at the time, also invoked Isaiah 9:10 in aÂ campaign speech, promising those in attendance that America was doingÂ exactly what the â€œLordâ€™s Wordâ€ instructs, namely, â€œrebuilding with hewnÂ stone and planting cedars.â€
In the summer of 2012, while visiting the new World Trade Center buildingÂ site at Ground Zero in New York City, President Barack Obama scrawled aÂ message on a steel girder that read: â€œWe remember, We rebuild, We comeÂ back stronger!â€
The problem with these biblically illiterate politicians invoking Isaiah 9:10 asÂ an appropriate response to the 9/11 terrorist attack upon our nation is thatÂ this verse is actually the arrogant and defiant response of an unrepentantÂ Israel to Godâ€™s warning of impending judgment. To prove Israelâ€™sÂ vulnerability and to warn them of His coming judgment upon them at theÂ hands of their enemies, God allowed an enemy attack upon Israel in hopesÂ of humbling the nation and leading it to repent and return to Him. However,Â instead of being humbled and repenting, Israel was disdainful and defiant.Â They insisted upon their invulnerability and dismissed any possibility ofÂ impending judgment. Furthermore, they bragged that they could rebuildÂ and recover stronger than ever before from any occurrence of divineÂ retribution suffered over their rebellion against God.
Iâ€™ve studied the subject of revival for years, both revival in the Bible and theÂ great revivals of history. Although there is much I still donâ€™t understandÂ about revival, there is one thing I know for sure: ALL REVIVAL IS BORN INÂ DESPERATION!
As long as we believe we can solve our problems through the politicalÂ 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 beÂ no revival in America. As long Americaâ€™s preachers refuse to preach sureÂ and certain judgment, there will be no revival in America. As long as theÂ church remains at ease in Zion over its hope of revival in America, insteadÂ of covered with sackcloth over the hopelessness of our present situation,Â there will be no revival in America.
On the other hand, if we ever face up to the helplessness andÂ hopelessness of Americaâ€™s present situation and turn to God in utterÂ desperation, who knows what God may do? Itâ€™s time for us to get seriousÂ about prayer and to get desperate on our knees before God in our personalÂ prayer closets and church prayer meetings. After all, these are desperateÂ times calling for desperate measures!