Matins Devotion: September 11, 2023
In the days immediately after the terrorist attacks of 22 years ago today, it seemed like Americans were going to rediscover their love for God and for each other. Church attendance shot up. Pews were filled with somber, worried people wanting to hear a word of comfort from our Lord. The president’s approval rating skyrocketed to over 90% and people who didn’t always get along were standing together and mourning together. It seemed like, in the midst of tragedy, we were going to arise holier and healthier.
But we didn’t. In the years since, we have become more obsessed with despising the Gospel and pursuing unrighteousness. Our church attendance rates plummeted. Our love of God has largely vanished and our love for eachother has all but evaporated. I don’t think even a nuclear attack against our nation would bump any president’s approval rating about 55%. And we wake up every day looking for reasons to demonize and despise each other.
So it’s easy to hunger for a Hezekiah, one of the few faithful kings of Judah who brings righteousness back to his nation by repairing and cleansing the temple, by crushing the idols and altars his wicked father set up to pagan gods. Very often, we find ourselves praying for an earthly leader who will call us away from our seething hatred of God and each other.
But here’s the thing about Hezekiah: Despite his years of faithfulness, despite his profound dedication to the true God, he was a mere man, a man who died. And the man who replaced him, his son Manasseh, undid all of his father’s good in about five seconds, rededicating his nation to idolatry, perversion, and child sacrifice. So certainly, let’s pray for godly men to lead our nation. But don’t trust in even the godliest of men whose accomplishments can be undone in a moment and who can quickly be replaced by men of unfathomable wickedness.
Trust in the God whose Son did not undo His Father’s will but accomplished it. Trust in the One True God who gave you the One True King who tore down the altars of sin in your heart upon the cross, the King who cleansed the temple by pouring out His blood upon you and all the world, winning eternal life for those who believe in Him. Trust in the King whose salvation can never be undone, whose victory can never be erased. Ask for Hezekiah. Trust in Christ and you will find the one thing our nation has never been able to find in the days since 9/11–peace with God and peace with each other.