The Building is Safe
September 11, 2006 • By Ed Wrather
(Originally sent on the one year anniversary of 9/11)
But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was the fall of it. - Matthew 7:26-27.
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. - Hebrews 10:31.
It has been five years since the terrible tragedy of 9/11, which claimed the lives of 2,803 people at the World Trade Center alone. The north tower was struck by the first hijacked airliner at 8:46 a.m. It was only 16˝ minutes later when United Airlines Flight 175 slammed into the south tower. During those 16˝ minutes the people in the upper floors of the south tower made life and death decisions which resulted in their escaping with their lives or resulted in their deaths. Many saw the flames of the north tower and the horrified looks on the faces of those who were jumping to their deaths to escape burning to death. To see that was enough for many to flee for their lives.
Some 1400 people fled to safety from the upper floors of the south tower even though the emergency speaker system was blaring that "the building is safe!” "The building is secure!” This was followed by a statement that it was safe to return to work in their offices. Some believed this was an order, while others believed it was an option to return to their work areas.
With only 16˝ minutes every action was vitally important to their survival. Some immediately fled from the building. Others gathered up personal belongings or finished up some things they were working on. Others made phone calls delaying their exit. Some lost their lives while courageously trying to warn and save others. Steve Miller who worked on the 80th floor and survived said, "The conclusion that I’ve come to is: I think I acted smart, and I think it had almost no bearing on the fact that I survived. If you ran away, you survived. Everybody who ran away survived.”
In the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24) Jesus warns of the need to flee when, "you see the abomination of desolation.” Jesus says that at that point "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the filed not go back to get his clothes (Matthew 24:15-17).” In terms of symbolism the "abomination of desolation” is the opposite of godliness and everything good. It is the ultimate in worldliness, sin, fleshly desire, and evil.
The world is shouting in every way possible that "the building is safe and secure” - that there is no need for God and the things of God. However, those who have built their lives on the shifting sands of worldliness and fleshly desire will find that their lives are far from secure and that it is a terrible thing to "fall into the hands of the living God.” Surely, we should flee from the shifting sands of the worldliness and fleshly desire. We should run to the mountain. We should run to God, to "His holy mountain. Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth (Psalm 48:1b-2a).” Let us flee from the things of the world before it is to late and run to the Mountain!
(The entire sermon that the devotional is based on may be read at: http://www.theburningbush.org/newestsermons.html#THE%20BUILDING)