Summary: This sermon utilizes the tragedy of 9/11 to answer the age old question; "where was God when..?"
“Where was God?”
You’ve no doubt heard the news, the United States of America--the richest and most fortified Super Power in the entire world sustained an almost unthinkable attack. In this anonymous and brutal act of aggression, the very symbols of our vast economic wealth and unparalleled military strength were both casualties . On Tuesday morning, September 11, people all over the globe stopped what they were doing as the news of this catastrophic event was broadcast with live video footage revealing a scene that appeared to be what many would consider Apocalyptic in nature. As most of the civilized world listened to and watched as the twin towers of the World Trade Center burned, none were prepared for what came over the air waves next; the military nerve center of this mighty nation, the very backbone of protection for the free world, was exploding into flames--the Pentagon had been hit. As these events unfolded while being simultaneously witnessed by people around the country and around the world, many questions were being asked; who was behind these terrible acts? why wasn’t our military intelligence prepared for this? and could this be just the beginning of a massive and invasive attack, were
these explosions intended merely to distract our attention and clear the way for an even more damaging assault-- possibly even a nuclear strike? For security reasons, the President and his family were wisked away into seclusion causing many people in this country began to fear what might come next.
But after a very long and intense day, after all other planes were out of the sky and the situation seemed to be stabilizing, Americans returned to their homes only to see the horrific events of the day replayed over and over again from all angles and every prospective. The fear we had for our own lives was finally subsiding, but now we were almost forced to witness again and again the deaths of thousands of innocent people. We watched in disbelief as ghostlike forms were running out of the collapsing buildings and
onto the street....as men and women, desperately trying to escape the inferno hurled their scorched bodies out of broken windows over a hundred stories up. We try to imagine the terror that must have been felt by those police, firemen and rescue workers as they looked up only to see that this massive structure was crashing down upon them.
And finally, when the smoke had cleared and the harsh reality of what had just happened sank in; the question most asked by the majority of the Christian world was; where was God? Why didn’t the Almighty God of the Universe step in and put a stop to this senseless tragedy? Where was God??
This is a question that every Christian needs to be able to settle in his or her own heart---our inability to understand why our God allows such terrible things to happen cannot be permitted to weigh so heavily upon the it chips away at our faith...... for our faith is the very foundation of our relationship with the Lord. We can read book after
book and listen to sermon after sermon but we will never be given a concrete reason why our Father in heaven permits such anguish to reach His beloved children. It is for good reason that God Himself says this; “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways....As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Is.55:8,9) NIV
As I have been constantly praying for the victims of this terrible tragedy and our nation’s leaders......I have also been praying for those of us who are left to carry on--for those who may be wondering if there even is a God. And as I was praying the night after the attack, God--who always answers prayers-- unmistakably revealed to me that I
was to deliver a specific message to you this morning. But at that moment, He gave me only the title which is printed in your bulletins today; “Where was God?” It was by pure faith that I immediately accepted the task, knowing that I had not a clue as to how to even begin. But now, after considerably more praying, studying and listening, I will attempt, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to relay to you what He has relayed to me in hopes that it will help you answer in you heart this burning question; where was God?
Why our God of love and mercy would allow such terrible things to happen is not by any means a “new” question......for the minor prophet Habakkuk inquires of the Lord over 2500 years ago with these words; “How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but You do not listen? Or cry out to You, ‘Violence!’ but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds...” and the last part of verse 4 says; “The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.”