Here are the 2 camps that are dividing up… On one side – there are those pointing to Ezekiel 18:23 “Remember, Beloved, God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked.” and then there is Proverbs 21:15 “Justice brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.”
So Osama Bin Laden is dead and there is joy AND there is disdain from some at the “blood-lust” that has been displayed in our nation’s capital and around the country – people rejoicing at the death of a human being.
I think it’s time to stop the condemnation and indignation and righteous poo-pooing of people celebrating the death of Osama Bin Laden. Avoid the temptation to preach about the need for forgiveness and the sanctity of all human life. Of course both are important and we should always focus on both – but not when we use that teaching as a weapon of guilt. So many people misuse it… Pro-Life supporters use it (rightly so) to condemn abortion – but often times they support the death penalty… Some pacifists cling to it but can also say they are Pro-Choice. Either way, it’s contradictory and regardless of where you stand – I think this is about something altogether different.
OBL became a bogeyman and represented an ever present fear in our national conscience. He represented a crater in the middle of NYC. He represented over 3,000 body bags put in to use on 9/11. He was responsible for the planning of and execution of multiple plans that murdered thousands of innocent people around the world. People are not so much celebrating the death of a man. They are celebrating justice … they aren’t a bunch of blood-lusting evil-minded people. OBL was the blood-lusting, evil doer.
I did celebrate last night… even if it wasn’t out in the streets in front of the White House. I spent the night thinking about the families left behind when OBL killed thousands of their loved ones. I know that his death does not bring healing to broken hearts but I know that it was a little more closure for so many who have been hurting for so long. I also pray that his death does not bring harm to our men and women serving bravely in service to our country.
No, his death will not bring an end to acts of terrorism. Yes – someone else will most certainly step into his shoes. But justice was served and justice is a good thing. SO I guess I am in the “justice brings joy crowd.” And surprisingly – I feel ok about that and I don’t think it leaves me outside of Jesus’ love, mercy and grace. I can still pray for peace and desire to see ALL people come to know our Savior but still find joy in justice.
Now I continue to pray that we find something that lasts much longer than justice – one of my favorite passages Philippians 4:4-9. Peace.