The sad story is still unfolding as I type. Four men died bravely on September 11, 2012 and have now been laid to rest. Time stands still for those who grieve their shocking losses and they have begun a grief journey forced upon them. We watch the facts still surfacing and so must the families. How my heart aches for them. They must wonder if the deaths of their loved ones could have been prevented. Did we fail them? Did the USA fail its team on the ground in Libya? Does anyone know the answer to that question? Will truth be admitted over and above politics?
I picture the last comrade determined to “stand down” as commanded. He had placed calls for help and help would come. Help always came. We never leave one of our own on enemy soil without overturning heaven and earth get them free . History is full of the gallantry of our men and women in armed forces who have served in harms way to keep our country free. So help would come. He had done all to stand and now he would stand (Ephesians 6:13).
But help would not come. I can imagine he crouched in his hiding place, never giving up hope, until the fire bombs exploded all around sending suffocating smoke in which overpowered Chris Stevens ,who was later found in the rubble. These four men who gave their lives never expected to be left alone in their time of need. They never expected to be so dishonored, so they would do what they were sent to do. And they would follow orders. Help would surely come. If not, why not?
Can we be honest with their families? Can we look them in the eye and tell the truth? One of the fathers said the words in the title of this piece. He holds no anger. He would just like the President of the United States to look him in the eye and tell him the truth. Is this about incompetence or a cover up?
There is a Bible story that most of us know. It involves three young Hebrew men who refused to dishonor God by bowing down to an image that resembled King Nebuchadnezzar. Punishment was meted out. They were bound with rope and tossed into a very hot furnace which instantly killed the soldiers who threw them in. The king was astonished. “But look!” he said. “I see four men, walking around freely in the fire, completely unharmed! And the fourth man looks like a son of the gods!” Daniel 3:25, The Message.
The three Hebrew men in the fiery furnace were not left alone. God honored their obedience to Him and showed up in the fire with them. None of them died or even smelled like smoke. Indeed they were blessed with a miracle when they stood for the right.
In your mind, there may not seem to be any relationship between these two very different stories and their outcomes. Both were ordered to stand. Both obeyed. Both believed help would come. It came for the Hebrews in Babylon. It did not come for the four soldiers in Libya.