I don’t watch much television, and I’m embarrassed to say how early I usually go to bed, so I didn’t find out about the death of Osama bin Laden until early Monday morning. I’ll be honest: my first thought was…
What took so long? I guess I’m used to the movies, where bad guys can’t hide anywhere without being found. Didn’t you watch the movie “Heat”?
Then, when I saw everyone rejoicing over the news of a dead man, I heard the following words and paused:
“I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from wicked ways so they may live” Ezekiel 33:11
But the dude was evil, right?
“Moral character makes for smooth traveling; an evil life is a hard life.” Proverbs 11:5
“Good people celebrate when justice triumphs, but for the workers of evil it’s a bad day.” Proverbs 21:15
I don’t know. It seems there’s a scripture verse to support any feelings you have on the matter. If you don’t celebrate, your patriotism is questioned. If you celebrate, in some people’s eyes your morality grows a shadow.
Then, a response from Pastor Michael Slaughter:
“I am glad that Osama bin Ladin’s personal voice for the mandate of hate has been silenced but I am also reminded of the biblical mandate for our attitude of response:”Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice” (Proverbs 24:17)” Thinking of those families who lost people as a result of this man’s hate today (troops and 9/11 victims).
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King David had an arch rival. His name was Saul. Some will claim that Saul was God’s anointed and you can’t compare him to Osama bin Laden, but Saul had a nasty track record. He tried to kill David numerous times and the Bible points out that the Spirit of God departed from Saul. In a fit of rage, Saul instructed someone to kill 83 priests of God in cold blood.
Sounds like Saul went over to the dark side.
Yet multiple times, when given the chance, David turned down the opportunity to kill this man. Why?
I think it’s because David knew he would be king. He trusted the promise that God had made to him and knew his purpose. The timing of vengeance was not important to him, nor did he believe it was his to control, even when given the opportunity.
On Monday I wondered: was all of our celebrating over the death of one man just a sign that as a nation (and unlike David) we have lost our identity? If we had a strong sense of national purpose, wouldn’t this just be one blip on the screen as we moved forward in other worthy pursuits?
Could it be that we are looking for purpose, so we grasp at any victory, even the destruction of an old man living in a self-imposed prison suffering along on dialysis?
I don’t know the answers to these questions. I know one thing – it’s improbable that any of us know exactly what God thinks about the death of Osama bin Laden. Which is why this week has taken on a somber tone for me, as I remember those whose lives have been so terribly affected by this man, now dead, and I seek after God to better know His purposes here on earth.
What was your take?