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Thursday, July 07, 2005

We are all Londoners today

I have found it difficult to put into words the sadness and anger that I have felt today after hearing of the bombings in London. I do grieve with the people of that great city. I pray for wisdom for Prime Minister Blair, Scotland Yard, and other security officials. When the Twin Towers of New York City were brought down, many throughout the world said, "Today we are all New Yorkers." In the same spirit, today we are all Londoners. Not too many months ago we all shared the pain of Madrid.

I have tried to think of some appropriate response from the Bible. What has come to my mind are the words of the Lord to King Zerubbabel through the prophet Zechariah (4:6). I do not post this as any statement of how we should react to the bombings, but as a reminder from God that, ultimately, it is through his spirit and wisdom that world problems can be solved. I will cite several versions since the variations in them emphasize our ultimate reliance on God:
Then he said to me, “This is what the LORD says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the LORD Almighty. (NLT)

Then he told me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘You will not succeed by your own strength or power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD All-Powerful. (NCV)

So the angel explained that it was the following message of the LORD to Zerubbabel: I am the LORD All-Powerful. So don't depend on your own power or strength, but on my Spirit. (CEV)

Then he replied, “This is the word the LORD spoke to Zerubbabel: You won't succeed by might or by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of Armies. (GW)

The angel told me to give Zerubbabel this message from the LORD: “You will succeed, not by military might or by your own strength, but by my spirit. (TEV/GNT)

Then he said to me, ‘This is the word of the LORD concerning Zerubbabel: Neither by force nor by strength, but by my spirit! says the LORD of Hosts. (REB)

Then he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. (RSV, ESV)

This is GOD's Message to Zerubbabel: 'You can't force these things. They only come about through my Spirit,' says GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies. (TM)

Then he answered and spoke to me, saying, "This is the word of Yahweh to Zerubbabel, saying, 'Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh of Hosts. (WEB)

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