September 11 is here again. The events of this day twelve years ago have changed the way that we live our lives. We now live with feelings of vulnerability that were not present before 9/11/2001. At least, this is true for most Americans. What was already true for many countries on Earth spread to America that day. Twenty men with simple, low tech weapons took control of four airliners and introduced modern America to mass murder and destruction on our own soil.
The question asked again and again is why. The answer lies far beyond the ethnic and religious issues that were the immediate cause of the September tragedies. The larger question is this: what is it in the human heart that drives people, made in the image of God, to maim and kill each other? What is it that causes such hatred? The answer lies with Adam.
Adam determined that he had a better way to live than to submit to God. He thought only of the moment. Instead of protecting his wife he yielded to her doubt of God’s goodness and rule. Genesis 3:6 records that Adam was with Eve when she was tempted by the serpent in the garden. Adam could have and should have called out to God to protect them from the snake. But no, he stood in silence and fear and allowed Eve to engage the lies of the evil one by herself. Instead caring for Eve he joined in her sin. He played the game of self-indulgence and the human race was lost! When God confronted Adam with what he had, he did what husbands have been doing for millennia, he blamed his wife. No matter how good God was or how good he had been to Adam the lure of self-indulgence was too much. Adam had to live for himself and rule for himself.
Adam and Eve never gave a thought to what would happen if they attempted to be like God. They were too in love with the idea of self-pleasure to think beyond tasting the fruit to what that taste would bring to themselves or to their children. They had no idea that their rejection of God would lead to unbridled hatred. Thus, one consequence of that decision to doubt God and taste the fruit was that all of mankind would never be safe again.
To this day, we Americans think that we can make ourselves safe. But safety is an illusion. When it comes to human life, whether we trust retirement plans, airbags, health care, alarm systems, firearms, building codes, the military, elected officials, first responders, or weather forecasts, one truth remains: we are only as safe as God wants us to be. The truth is that since the fall of man the only place of safety is found in a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Safety from any other source is an illusion no matter who you are or how much material wealth you might have.
This post is written on the eve of 9/11/2013. So, I don’t know what tomorrow might or might not bring. An act of terrorism is certainly possible. But so is an auto accident, a robbery, a lightning strike or a health concern. It is in God that we live and move and have our being. Our lives are in his hands, as they always have been.
Thanks to Adam, 9/11 brings fear and uncertainty to our daily lives. Thanks to Jesus Christ, we have a certain hope for this life and beyond. Let’s live in this reality and bring the safety of the gospel to those around us and to those around the world.