The words, 'killed instantly' jump out. With the exception of the terrorists, not what those who died were planning on that day. Not typically what any of us are ever planning on when we get out of bed and head off to whatever it is we do. But it iis appointed to man to die once, and after that comes judgment. Are you ready?
Evil men will do evil things. The magnitude of 9/11 was shocking; the ability to carry out such an attack, disturbing; the brazenness of the attack, chilling; but the fact of such a thing should not be surprising. Those who reject the God of the Bible as the one true and living God and embrace false gods, left to themselves, will care nothing for his creation, people made in his image, or his special people. Some will act in accordance with the depth of their depravity. The more amazing thing is the restraining grace of God at work in the world.
Whether seeing the disturbing image of iconic buildings in our nation collapsing or uprisings in the Middle East, I love the comfort of Psalm 2. "Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed...He who sits in the heavens laughs." God is not troubled by the raging of terrorists or tyrants; he laughs at it. If our refuge is that Lord and his Anointed, we need not fear.
Give thanks for freedom and those who defend it. I went to bed last night knowing that if my house caught on fire, within minutes there would be men I have never met putting that fire out. I drove to church today without a thought of fear that I might be perrsecuted or arrested for worshiping publicly. We don't even think about those things very often because we assume them. It's not like that everywhere in the world. Since we are to render honor to whom it is due (Romans 13:7), let's remember to honor and thank those who run into burning buildings and not away from them; those who go towards the battle instead of fleeing from it so that the battle doesn't come to us. Thank you. At the same time, remember that those people are instruments in the hands of God. Our help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
The only way to live is trusting in Christ. You know how Psalm 2 ends? "Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him." Come what may if your refuge is Christ, you will
be safe in the storm and he will bring you home to heaven whether you're killed instantly in a terrorist attack or die of old age.
So may we remember. Remember what happened that day; remember the pain and pride we felt; remember the hurt that family and friends still feel; remember our great privilege; but most importantly remember our Creator and his Son, Jesus.