Where was God During the World Trade Center Attack?
The goodness of the work of God in this atrocity
by Rich Deem

Where was God?

Atheists claim that if God existed that He would not allow evil things to happen. A God of love would have prevented the terrible atrocity that took place on September 11, 2001. Atheists were posting comments like this all over the discussion boards (including the one on this site) soon after the attacks took place. In all of their comments, they never once considered what God might have done to limit the amount of evil that was committed that day.

Rich Deem

Where was God during the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001? The Christian God is supposed to be both loving and all-powerful. Despite these characteristics, God seems to be unable or unwilling to have prevented this and other evil acts that have been committed in the world. The atheist concludes that either God is not loving or not all-powerful or that God does not exist, because if He did exist, He could stop all the suffering. Although God obviously did not prevent this atrocity, who is to say that He has not prevented others. Believe it or not, there are worse things that terrorists could have done, including exploding a nuclear device in Manhattan. In addition, atheists have not considered all the things God might have done to prevent an even greater loss of life than what occurred during the attack on the World Trade Center. This page will examine some of the more obvious ways that God was working during and following the attacks.

As of this writing, it appears that ~4,000 people lost their lives in the attack on the World Trade Center. While this sounds like a large number of people (and it is the largest loss of life due to single terrorist attack), it represents only a small percentage of the people who could have died in those towers. A total of 50,000 people worked in the World Trade Center towers at the time of the attack. In addition, it was reported that 100,000 people visited the towers every day. This means that at least 90% of everybody in the towers at the time of the attack escaped alive! This sounds like a miracle to me. There are some other remarkable facts to consider. The first tower that was hit stood standing 45 minutes longer than the second tower, allowing more time for those who had no warning to escape. After the attack on the first tower, people in the second tower immediately began to leave, despite the announcement by management that everything was safe and under control. People interviewed later reported that they "felt" that they should leave. Did God communicate to tens of thousands of people to warn them to escape? It seems likely, since people usually listen to and follow the advice of authorities. In watching the crash of the second airliner into the second tower, it seems remarkable that the tower did not collapse immediately. There was a huge explosion that engulfed several floors of the tower at once. Did God miraculously sustain the tower for an additional 30 minutes to allow people to escape? Given these circumstances, it seems likely that God miraculously intervened to limit the death toll in the attack on the World Trade Center towers.

The third airliner crashed into the Pentagon. However, the side of the building hit was under renovation, limiting the loss of life. If the terrorists had crashed directly into the Pentagon from the original direction of flight (the plane had passed the Pentagon and made a 270 degree turn prior to impact), the loss of life would have been ten times greater. Was God involved in this?

The fourth airliner did not even reach its intended destination (probably the Capitol Building in Washington D.C.). Although God did not bring down this airliner directly, His people were involved in thwarting the attempt at mass destruction. Todd Beamer, a graduate of Wheaton College, a dedicated Christian who taught Sunday School, led a charge against the hijackers who had commandeered flight 93, resulting in the plane crashing into an unpopulated field outside of Pittsburgh. As it turned out, the plane crashed just 2 miles from an elementary school. Was God involved in steering the airliner away from the school?

Has God been involved with the events subsequent to September 11? The attack has turned people from their selfishness to seek God and get involved in helping the victims of the families. The following Sunday, we had standing room only attendance at Sierra Madre Congregational Church, as did nearly every church in the nation. People lined up for hours to donate blood at the Red Cross. The Red Cross had been requesting for more donors for months before this with no success. People, organizations, movie stars, and even websites have banded together to raise funds for relief agencies and the families of the victims. God has been working in the hearts of people to get more involved with each other and helping those who are less fortunate. The shock of this evil atrocity has made people realize that their own petty problems are minor in comparison to the plight of others, and helped people to see how really fortunate they are.

A member of our church choir related a minor miracle that resulted from this attack. Heather and her family were living temporarily in an apartment complex, which, being in Southern California, consisted of many different races and ethnic backgrounds. After the attack, all the Middle eastern children stopped playing outside, and their parents were nowhere to be seen. The Saturday after the attack, Heather and her children knocked on all the doors of the complex and invited the people to a time of prayer near the swimming pool. Many dozens of people showed up, including families with Middle Eastern background. They admitted that they were afraid of reprisals and were staying out of site. They all prayed and shared together - something that would have never happened if the attack had never taken place. The people of that apartment complex are now acting as a family of God, united to help and care about each other.

Where was God in the attack on the World Trade Center? He was there all along!

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (Genesis 50:20)

Last Modified January 1, 2005


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