Summary: What in this world is truly indestructible? Only God’s love.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been reminded, in a shocking and brutal way, that nothing in this world is indestructible. For over two decades, the twin towers of the World Trade Center stood watch over New York City, monuments to man’s skill, and energy, and intelligence. Everyone assumed they would remain standing for decades to come. But in the space of only a few minutes, they were gone, reduced to a jumbled heap of glass, and metal, and concrete. And the people, the thousands of souls whose broken and lifeless bodies still lie entombed in the wreckage of those buildings. None of them expected September 11th to be their last day on earth. None of them expected that before the sun had set, they would be standing before God’s judgement seat. I’m sure they all assumed that their lives would continue for many more years -- another ten, or twenty, or thirty, or forty. But in the space of a few minutes, those lives all came to an end.
Other things ended that day, as well. Such as our sense of invincibility as a nation, the feeling of being absolutely secure within our own borders. Never before has there been an attack of this magnitude on the United States, never before an attack like this on civilian targets. And as our understanding of the terrorist threat has deepened, we’ve come to realize that even the air we breathe and the water we drink could be dangerous, could be poisoned with chemical or biological agents. The letters in our mailbox could be carrying some deadly disease.
As we contemplate this new world we’re living in, as we evaluate what we steps we should now be taking to protect ourselves and our families, I think many people have been asking, "Where can I find security? What can I really depend on? What can I be sure will never fail me?" And the disappointing, but truthful answer is, "nothing". There is nothing in this world so strong as to be incapable of being destroyed. As far as physical security goes, there is no building, no shelter that is impervious to attack. Even the caves and tunnels that Osama Bin laden has carved deep into the mountains of Afghanistan can’t protect him forever. Eventually, he’ll be found and rooted out. It’s just a matter of time and determination. And if all the military might of the United States couldn’t protect even the Pentagon building from destruction, and if the congress of the United States had to evacuate the Capitol building because of Anthrax contamination, then it’s clear that there is no such thing as an absolutely safe structure, no such thing as an impregnable fortress.
Or consider political stability. It is unthinkable to us that the United States should ever be defeated, or cease to exist as a nation. But history teaches us that there is no such thing as an invincible empire. The Roman Empire lasted a thousand years, but ultimately it collapsed. The British empire, which once encircled the globe, is now largely a thing of memory. The Russian empire, likewise gone. The Egyptians, the Incas, the Babylonians, the Assyrians, the Ottoman empire, the great Chinese dynasties -- all gone. And the United States is no exception. I love my country. I certainly don’t wish her any harm. But I’m confident that whether the United States of America lasts another eight years, or eighty, or even eight hundred, ultimately, like all nations and all empires, it will come to an end.
The bottom line is that there is literally nothing solid, nothing permanent, in this world. There is nothing in the political world, or in the physical world, or in any other aspect of our existence, that is absolutely safe from destructive change. The only place where complete security is to be found is in the spiritual world, and in the love of God for His people. Listen:
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging." -- Psalm 46:1-3
Mountains are symbols of strength and permanence. We think of them as being completely solid, indestructible, immovable. And what the Psalmist is telling us here is that even if the most solid and reliable things in our world start to tremble and give way, God will still be there, unchanging and unchangeable. His love for us cannot be shaken. It cannot be overthrown. It cannot be altered or diminished in the slightest degree. God’s love for his people is literally indestructible.
This morning, as we conclude our series of messages on God’s love, I’d like to focus on that fact -- that his love for us is not only unchanging, but unchangeable. That his love is not only strong and lasting, but eternal and indestructible. Nothing can, and nothing ever will, separate us from the love of God. As Paul writes,