Summary: Exposition of 2 Kings 25 regarding reflections on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.
Text: 2 Kings 25:1-30, Title: On the 7th Day of the 5th Month, Date/Place: NRBC, 9/11/11, AM
A. Opening illustration: you probably remember where you were on Sept 11 about 9:00…
B. Background to passage: The day was August 24, 585 BC. The siege of Jerusalem had been ongoing for about 2 years. Moderate fighting had been going on with Nebuchadnezzar for almost 20 years. Gone were the glory days of David’s far reaching empire, and Solomon’s glorious temple and peace in the land. The city had run out of food about a month before. Mothers were boiling their children, starvation was rampant, sickness and death were hourly occurrences. Then it happened: after watching the army flee by night (only to be captured on the plains of Jericho, the armies of Babylon overwhelmed the city, killing thousands, burning homes, the palace, and the temple. Taking anything of value, and deporting anyone of importance that they didn’t kill. They brought the king’s (Zedekiah) sons, and executed them before his eyes, then plucked them out. They took a host of nobles and leaders from Israel and executed them as a sign. Then began a forced march back to Babylon for those remaining, leaving only a few of the poorest to tend the vineyards that they may be able to get some wine from them as a tribute.
C. Moses had foretold, the prophets had preached, the northern kingdom of Israel had been taken captive over 100 years previous. After countless warnings, it actually came to pass. The disbelief in the hearts of Israel as they watched the Temple burn down would have arisen very similar to ours as we watched the World Trade Center towers burn and finally implode. It was a defining point in Israel’s history. Nothing was ever the same. For half a millennium later, every word written, every theological, political, cultural change or idea was a reflection of some level on the fall of Jerusalem. No monarchy, no temple, no sacrifices for sins, no government, no freedom, everything destroyed. August 24th changed everything.
D. And you know that the questions were much the same: Where is God? Why did He let this happen? What do we make of this? How do we explain this to our children? What now…? The Israelites used many things to pass along significant events in their history, so that it would not be forgotten. Life is a designed schoolmaster to teach us things, and we should remember the lessons and pass them on.
E. Main thought: Reflections on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11
A. Some things change
1. Many things are different now: one person said that we’ve lost a lot of freedom and spent a lot of money as a result. Another said we have more debt and less president. Another said that you have to wait in lines longer at airports. But however you view it, life in America is different after this event. Here are a couple of notable ways: 1) Innocence has been lost to a degree. Many Americans did not know what the word “jihad” meant. We had little knowledge of Islam, and just figured it was for another part of the world. Probably didn’t know any, or many Muslims here in GA. Afterwards, you knew exactly who they were. 2) Secondly, our bulletproof confidence is no longer as pronounced. After 9/11 you watched people a little more carefully; you were a little concerned when you stepped on a plane; you looked in your letters for white powder. Suspicion was at a high level. You didn’t know if you could fully trust that the security that we always trusted would really find the bomb or the terrorist.
2. For some things there was only a brief change. Church attendance spiked for about 6 weeks, and people were looking for something in light of their newly realized vulnerability and the hint of conviction they felt when they thought about how they have treated God. Also God became a song we sing as a nation. But it was more of the nebulous, benevolent grandfather god of Oprah, with no standards or truth, just love and acceptance for everybody. And for weeks God Bless America rang out from everywhere, even replacing Take Me Out to the Ballgame for the 7th inning stretch. Lee Greenwood made some money as we had revival on God Bless the USA.
4. Change is one of the only constant things in the created world. Tragedy, sickness, loss, death, heartbreak, etc. cause immense change in our lives. Many of you have defining events of shock or pain that shape everything following that. And there is no going back to “the good ol’ days.”
B. Some stay the same
5. God never changes. He is still sovereign. He is still good. He still loves. He still exercises control over every aspect of creation. He is still our only hope and stay. He is still our greatest and only full and true sufficiency.