Do you know what was the most quoted bible verse by American leadership at the time of the 9/11 attack? The bricks have fallen down, But we will rebuild with hewn stones; The sycamores are cut down, But we will replace them with cedars. (Isaiah 9:10) It became the flagship verse for the nation.
Newspaper headlines quoted President Obama saying, “We will rebuild”. Initial fear turned to a flood of national pride. In 2004 a ceremony was held around a QUARRIED STONE, the cornerstone of the new Freedom Tower (since renamed One World Trade Centre). In 2004 a crane lowered a CEDAR to replace the SYCAMORE tree that had been struck down by a steel beam on the corner of Ground Zero.
In 1792 twenty four stockbrokers signed The Buttonwood Agreement under a buttonwood tree (American sycamore) outside 68 Wall Street and 1817 saw the birth of the New York Stock Exchange. The bronze cast of the uprooted roots of the sycamore tree in the financial capital is significant, bronze being the biblical metal of judgement. The defiance to come back bigger, better and stronger and the determination of America to rebuild may seem admirable at first until you read the verses before and after:
Isaiah 9:9 All the people will know— Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria— Who say in pride and arrogance of heart: 9:10 The bricks have fallen down, But we will rebuild with hewn stones; The sycamores are cut down, But we will replace them with cedars. Isaiah 9:11 Therefore the LORD shall set up The adversaries of Rezin against him, And spur his enemies on, Isaiah 9:12 …And they shall devour Israel with an open mouth. This passage of scripture is about God’s judgement of Israel. For nearly 250 years God had used watchmen and prophets to warn Israel to humble themselves. Is history repeating itself? I feel sure that God wanted the headlines to read “We will repent and then rebuild”.
Here is a God-lesson for nations and individuals. God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. You may be facing a personal Ground Zero when all you have built has crumbled to ashes. My encouragement to you is to humble yourself before God in repentance and as you do He will lift you up from the ashes and bring restoration and healing. Jesus Christ came …To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” And they shall rebuild the old ruins, They shall raise up the former desolations, And they shall repair the ruined cities, The desolations of many generations. (Isaiah 61:3,4)
The path of humility will ensure that the building of your life carries the blessing, favour and glory of God! Unless the LORD builds the house, They labour in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain. (Psalm 127:1)
I highly recommend that you read Jonathan Cahn’s book, The Harbinger. He covers all of the above and lots more concerning the parallel between the defiance of Israel and the defiance of America.