Terrorism, as a term, dates back to 18th Century France…but they didn’t invent it. It has been around since biblical times. The word terrorisme means “to frighten.” Sun-tzu, the master Chinese warrior from 2100 BC wrote in his book The Art of War, “Kill one, frighten 10,000.” The Assyrians and Babylonians, during Jeremiah’s day, were experts at instilling fear into their enemies.
So when God told Jeremiah that troops from the North were marching his way, here was Jeremiah’s response:
“We’ve heard the news, and we’re as limp as wet dishrags. We’re paralyzed with fear. Terror has a death grip on our throats. Don’t dare go outdoors! Don’t leave the house! Death is on the prowl. Danger everywhere! “ (Jeremiah 6:24-25, The Message)
Sunday it was a gay bar in Orlando…yesterday it was the courthouse in Denton. The world…even Denton, Texas…is a fearful place. What is our response to terrorism?
I think the Lord would have us use common sense, take precautions, support our police, elect people who would protect us…but also we must reject fear. In Psalm 71, King David is surrounded by enemies…the situation he describes is quite frightening. King David’s response was prayer. Might I suggest that you and I stop what we’re doing for a moment and pray this prayer, too?
“In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness;
turn your ear to me and save me.
Be my rock of refuge,
to which I can always go;
give the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
Deliver me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of evil and cruel men…
Be not far from me, O God;
come quickly, O my God, to help me.
May my accusers perish in shame;
may those who want to harm me
be covered with scorn and disgrace.
But as for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.
My mouth will tell of your righteousness,
of your salvation all day long,
though I know not its measure.
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign Lord;
I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone.“ (Psalm 71:1-4, 12-16, NIV)