10 years ago, the fundamentalists from Osama Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda cell brandished terror on New York on a day that has come to be known as Black Tuesday. And this day has provided another point of significance-a Biblical quote from a sitting American president. “The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is with us” is a verse from Psalms 46 that Barrack Obama used in consoling and reassuring an American population not only reeling from the aftermath of those attacks but also from a wobbling economy.
And this could be the first time since the days of the Founding Fathers that a sitting Head of State has quoted brazenly from the Good Book without fear of reproachment for ignoring the much prevalent secularism. But it wouldn’t be the first time an individual lying on their back has sought guidance from God through the Bible. In fact, it has become commonplace for many a minister to quote just 1 verse from the Bible and use it inspirationally for a frequently downtrodden audience. And using Bible verses as the direct word of God isn’t wrong either-that is September 11th 2011 marks the 10th Anniversary of the Al-Qaeda inspired attacks in exactly as it should be.
The Gospel according to St. John proves this in its very first sentence: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. It is a very influential verse in that it gives reassurance that the words of the Bible come from God, have always been there and are fulfilled in Jesus Christ who is also alluded to in this verse. This verse sets the ball rolling for a couple of influential Bible verses.
Isaiah 29:22 Therefore thus saith the LORD, who redeemed Abraham concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale. This verse bears resemblance to the one used by Obama due to the use of the name Jacob which is another name for Israel to which many an American Establishment has felt obliged to act in deference. Jacob’s Greek equivalent is James.
Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. This verse is also found in the Book of Isaiah in Chapter 41 quoted here from the King James Version.
A further reassuring verse is to be found in the book of Psalms in Chapter 18:17 He delivered me from my strong enemy; and from them which hated me; for they were too strong for me. This verse’s poignancy comes from the fact that it was made by arguably the most powerful leader in the world at the time-King David and that despite his entire military prowess he chooses to give the credit to God. A point to be noted is that the later part of the verse sounds more like a sigh of relief- today’s stressed and underachieving leaders should borrow a leaf.
The Prophet Isaiah makes another celebrated entry with Chapter 37:23 whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? And against whom hast though exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? Even against the Holy One of Israel- This against a visiting Assyrian king to Israel’s shores who bit more than he could chew when he derided Jerusalem’s trust in Yahweh. This line comes out as comforting when God reassuringly shows his intent to remain at the front of the battle lines and needless to say, the Assyrian army was subsequently routed.
And what would you think of someone who told you that ‘Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations’ .That would mean that this person knows where I came from and if ever I wondered where I was going, this person would be the 1 person who would be in the know. And that brings more spring in my step.