When the downfall of one man brings joy to millions...
I was greeted on Facebook this morning with countless postings of Bin Laden's death. My first reaction was, "Oh good, finally. What goes around, comes around!" That was until I came across one particular post. It was a simple scripture, "God does not delight in the death of the wicked. He takes no pleasure in the death of anyone." The celebration that was starting in my heart came to an abrupt stop. If God isn't celebrating, why am I?
Now don't get me wrong, I am comforted by the fact that this man is no longer lingering in the shadows, waiting to pounce American soil again. Being raised as a military daughter, I take much pride in the efforts and accomplishments of our troops. Did Bin Laden need to be captured and brought to justice? Absolutely. Was his sin the downfall of his existence? Unfortunately, yes. But in a twisted kind of way, I rather of seen him turn from his wicked ways, handing his offenses over to God. I am deeply disturbed by the level of wickedness one person could hold, ultimately influencing a large population of a middle eastern country. The hate he harbored over God-fearing Americans led to a very unjust event on September 11, 2001. Thousands lost their lives, when religions and beliefs came head to head. He was out to prove a point, thus beginning a 10 year war.
So, what if Bin Laden had accepted Christ as his Lord and Saviour? What if he had repented his sin and asked for a new heart and spirit? According to the Bible, in Ezekiel 18:21-23, all would have been forgotten in the eyes of God. "But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Do I take pleasure in the death of the wicked? Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?" What a hard pill to swallow! We live in a world that thrives on justice. We long to see the downfall of men who have done us wrong. Praying for them becomes an after-thought for most. It is easier and more enjoyable to play the judge ourselves. But here's the catcher, Bin Laden's sin is no different than mine. Sure, his worldly consequences may be much greater, but because sin is sin in God's eyes, our sin becomes equal in a heavenly sense. Another hard pill to swallow.
Are you at conflict with someone in your life? Perhaps someone has done you wrong. They may have even asked for forgiveness and you still can't let it go. Something deep within your heart longs to seek justice and play judge. You are afraid of handing the reins over to God to cast the final judgement, which in return would allow room in your heart for better things. Have you prayed for them? It is very hard to hold judgement against someone you are praying for. Don't let the downfall of one person in your life, cause a downfall in your own.