Celebrating Death

Like many people, I to found myself caught up in the celebration of Osama Bib Laden’s death last night. It was a testament to diligence, a lesson in patience  & a battle where evil was defeated! However, in the midst of the celebration I started viewing this situation through a lens of faith & when I did, I was slightly convicted at my response. 

By all accounts, Osama Bin Laden was an evil, merciless man & needed to be stopped. Because of the terrible things he had done it was easy to get caught up in celebration of his death instead of the  justice his death brought. These are two very different things yet the line between the two is thin.

There are numerous accounts in Scripture where justice through death is celebrated. Think of David & Goliath, Samson & the Philistines or Moses & the Israelites escaping as the Egyptians were drowned in the Red Sea. In all of these instances we see praise for the justice but I’m not sure we praise the death of the individuals.  Proverbs 21:15 tells us that justice will bring us joy  but  Psalm 24:17 cautions us NOT to rejoice over our enemies failure & defeat.

Earthly justice does bring us joy & there is nothing wrong with that. At the same time, as much as we might hate to admit it, Osama Bin Laden was one of God’s creations who clearly strayed from His plan. He is now facing more justice in eternity than anything he would have ever expereinced on this earth. Although we rejoice in the justice may we remember that God’s heart is that NO ONE should perish (2 Peter 3:9), not even Osama Bin Laden.

Like you, I will rejoice in the earthly justice but I will also pray for God to help us see every person & situation though His eyes so that we may praise the justice without celebrating the death of someone who lived & died apart from God. Again, there is a thin line between the two but I pray we search for that line instead of simply losing ourselves in the moment. Lost souls break God’s heart & they should break ours as well no matter who it is. 

Thoughts to ponder…

CV

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8 thoughts on “Celebrating Death

  1. Josh says:

    Great thoughts to ponder – my reaction was similar.

    Jesus asked those that follow Him to do some pretty crazy things (Luke 6) – like loving our enemies.

  2. JEV says:

    When I awoke this morning and was thinking of the night’s events. I’m not sure why but I asked God, “What does bin Laden’s death mean to You.” I was awed as the immediate thought that came to me: “One of my children is lost.”

  3. Such a convicting thought & similar to what I experienced last night.

  4. The way of Jesus is not always easy & this is one of those situations where it is not easy. We can claim ignorance but when we look at the Message of Jesus, our response should be clear.

  5. pstevep says:

    i know for my own thought into this.. i wasnt so thrilled that he was killed, more that we finally were able to bring down the man responsible for orchestrating one of the biggest blows to our country.. did I expect him to be killed?? Yes I certainly did, but even had we taken him alive they would have killed him after trial, per the law of the land.. not saying its right or wrong.. but I also don’t know that typical Christian mindset can be used in a situation like this, I totally believe that God was not overly thrilled about one of his creation being killed, but our God is also a lot more level headed and fair than any of us could ever be.. being that he can see everything, he knows that there are lives that would be spared in the future by this happening.. were any of us going to “save” Osama?? Probably not, even if we had the resources to meet the man, he hated where we came from so much that he would have killed us rather than even talk to us.. but as with any of God’s creation its sad that we have to resort to this kind of thing, that men and women have to be killed, or just are killed.. for me, this is what it is, we finally tracked down the person we have been searching for, for the past 10 years, is God distressed, maybe.. but just as Jesus said “for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”..

  6. As always, thank you for your thoughts & perspective Steve.

  7. I agree wholeheartedly on this one. It’s not right to celebrate his killing.

    He no longer has the chance to grasp Christ’s grace and change his life for good.

    I understand why people want to celebrate, and I understand the security and confidence that comes with feeling justified by his death.

    But I can’t help but think of the end scene of Les Miserables whenever someone mentions that “justice was done”. It’s not justice we should try to live by, it’s mercy and grace.

  8. Thank you for your comment Davd & I love your reference to Les Meserables. I hadn’t thought of that connection yet but it’s a good example.

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