Even with the best, although naïve, intentions America cannot put an end to terror. Terror, or terrorism, is premeditated acts or threats of violence intended to intimidate, confuse, and coerce the victims. However, for the one instigating terror, it is justified to accomplish a specific purpose or agenda. As might be expected, terrorism is not new.
Recall Jacob’s daughter Dinah was raped. That incident and the resulting action by her brothers caused great animosity between the people of Shechem and Jacob’s family. God instructed Jacob to return to Bethel. Jacob was very much afraid that the men of Shechem would retaliate before he could reach the safety of Bethel. However, God prevented harm to Jacob and his family.
“And they journeyed, and the terror of God was upon the cities that were all around them, and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob.” Genesis 35:5
The Hebrew base for ‘terror’ also means dread, fear, and shock. God used terror tactics to accomplish His purpose.
In the book of Exodus God again used the terror tactic to protect His people as they began to enter the land of Canaan.
“I will send My fear before you, I will cause confusion among all the people to whom you come, and will make all your enemies turn their backs to you.” Exodus 23:27
Likewise Moses recounted to the Israelites the words that God spoke to him before taking possession of the land from King Sihon the Amorite.
“This day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the nations under the whole heaven, who shall hear the report of you, and shall tremble and be in anguish because of you.” Deuteronomy 2:25
Notice the phrases in the above verses spoken by God: ‘I will send My fear,’ ‘I will cause confusion,’ and ‘I will begin to put the dread and fear…’ Recall that these terms can be used interchangeably with ‘terror.’
And when Rahab hid the spies, she spoke thusly:
“…I know that the LORD has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you.” Joshua 2:9
As history progressed through the time of the prophets, the terror of God was even more pronounced. As Isaiah spoke of the terror of God in the latter days, it is universally applicable to all mankind.
“The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day…They shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, from the terror of the LORD and the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake the earth mightily.” Isaiah 2:17, 19
In these verses Isaiah tells of a time in the future when the terror of the LORD will be so great that men will try to hide from Him to escape His terror. Isaiah’s words should be taken absolutely literally.
The Apostle John put Isaiah’s words in perspective and context in the last book of the Bible.
“I looked when He opened the sixth seal…and the kings of the earth…the rich men…the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!’ For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” Revelation 6:12-17
God has used terror throughout history to alert man that the day will come when all things will be done according to His standard of righteousness.
The term ‘terror’ in the Greek is nearly the same as in Hebrew, i.e. to inspire fear and dread to accomplish a given purpose.
Those who choose to turn a deaf ear to God’s wake-up calls and terror tactics are setting themselves up to experience His wrath.
In this current age and troubled times, man should be considering the big picture.