The Trumpet Herald
Giving the trumpet a certain sound
The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 were described in US News Online this way:
"Nineteen men with a killer’s cold heart and a martyr’s blind will boarded four commercial aircraft, hijacked them, then sacrificed their lives to kill, in just about an hour, twice the number of people slain at Pearl Harbor" (article "Under Siege," 9/24/01).
Another article from the same source commented:
"NEW YORK–It was supposed to be the city that never sleeps. The city that works all day, parties all night, and never turns out the lights. But when the mighty World Trade Center towers tumbled last week, New York lost its rhythm" (article "Gotham With Attitude," 9/24/01).
NBC television news revealed in an eye witness interview that shortly after the airliner hit the World Trade Center, someone announced on the building’s public address system that workers should return to their desks (as if the buildings were in no danger of the immanent collapse that happened a short time later).
Regarding what is happening in response, the Associated Press online, The Wire, reported on September 19, 2001:
"Bush administration officials are intensifying efforts to gain concrete support for a war on global terrorism, meeting with allies and making overtures toward nations that shelter some of the world’s most notorious terrorist masterminds.
"For countries with tenuous relationships with the United States, the message was clear: Support a crackdown on terrorism or face U.S. retaliation" (article "US Moves to Shore Up Support for War").
Scripture has a message for the perpetrators of the horrendous attack:
"For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace." (Psa. 37:9-11).
But there is another line of inspired thought. Though now we "see in a glass darkly", there are potential personal applications. A loving God undoubtedly looks with sadness upon the evil choices made by rebellious man. Sometimes in His wisdom He intervenes, and sometimes allows. But the day of forgiveness and salvation will not continue forever. Bloodshed will meet its ultimate punishments and so will human pride, selfish ambition, and unjust dealings especially with the poor:
"And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible" (Isa. 13:11).
"On one occasion, when in New York City, I was in the night season called upon to behold buildings rising story after story toward heaven. These buildings were warranted to be fireproof, and they were erected to glorify the owners and builders. Higher and still higher these buildings rose, and in them the most costly material was used. Those to whom these buildings belonged were not asking themselves: ‘How can we best glorify God?’ The Lord was not in their thoughts.
"I thought: ‘Oh, that those who are thus investing their means could see their course as God sees it! They are piling up magnificent buildings, but how foolish in the sight of the Ruler of the universe is their planning and devising. They are not studying with all the powers of heart and mind how they may glorify God. They have lost sight of this, the first duty of man.’
"As these lofty buildings went up, the owners rejoiced with ambitious pride that they had money to use in gratifying self and provoking the envy of their neighbors. Much of the money that they thus invested had been obtained through exaction, through grinding down the poor. They forgot that in heaven an account of every business transaction is kept; every unjust deal, every fraudulent act, is there recorded. The time is coming when in their fraud and insolence men will reach a point that the Lord will not permit them to pass, and they will learn that there is a limit to the forbearance of Jehovah"
"The scene that next passed before me was an alarm of fire. Men looked at the lofty and supposedly fire-proof buildings and said: ‘They are perfectly safe.’ But these buildings were consumed as if made of pitch. The fire engines could do nothing to stay the destruction. The firemen were unable to operate the engines" (Testimonies, v. 9, pp. 12, 13, emphasis added).
The Scripture also mentions a role for government:
"For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil" (Rom. 13:4).
As the second coming of Christ draws nearer, we have been told that the evil in the earth will increase.
"And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places" (Matt. 24:6-8).
Finally we must be aware that a great controversy is going on and that God’s law is and will be the final issue.
"Is it true that the end of all things is at hand? What mean the awful calamities by sea--vessels hurled into eternity without a moment’s warning? What mean the accidents by land—fire consuming the riches that men have hoarded, much of which has been accumulated by oppression of the poor. The Lord will not interfere to protect the property of those who transgress His law, break His covenant, and trample upon His Sabbath, accepting in its place a spurious rest-day.
"The plagues of God are already falling upon the earth, sweeping away the most costly structures as if by a breath of fire from heaven. Will not these judgments bring professing Christians to their senses? God permits them to come that the world may take heed, that sinners may be afraid and tremble before Him" (Ms 99, 1902, printed in Manuscript Releases, vol. 3, p. 311).
The state of continual warfare which the United States and perhaps much of the world is about to enter points to the fulfillment of the following statement:
"The work which the church has failed to do in a time of peace and prosperity she will have to do in a terrible crisis under most discouraging, forbidding circumstances. The warnings that worldly conformity has silenced or withheld must be given under the fiercest opposition from enemies of the faith" (Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 463).
May God help us to remain humble, to seek and to do His will in these difficult times.