How Should a Christian Respond to the Death of an Enemy?

When the head of a terrorist group or other enemy is killed, what should a Christian feel? Should we rejoice in the streets? Some did. Should we not be glad? Many are.

What was your response when Osama Bin Laden was killed? Did you know what to feel? Are you happy with your response? Are you torn?

I remember a time when someone had done me very wrong. A few months later, I heard of one bad thing after another happening to that person. He had made bad choices, and they were catching up to him. I rejoiced at every one that came his way. In my mind, he deserved those and a whole lot more. It was great to see him get even part of what was coming to him.

I rejoiced and laughed because I was still very much hurt. Over time I thought differently. Revenge is not mine, and there was no love in what I had felt. It really was not who I was. When I look back on it, I don’t feel good that I ever felt that way.

Time passed and another situation arose. This time it was the Gulf War. I remember not having the same thrill, but still I was glad that we were doing what we were doing in that situation. I don’t remember what I said, but whatever I said to my father resulted in my getting a bit of a scolding. He simply said something to the effect that I shouldn’t ever be happy when people are dying.

You know, I don’t think I had really taken the time to think about that inevitable result. However, when he pointed it out, I knew he was right. People were dying, and it seemed wrong to be happy about that happening. War should be a last result, and we should take no pleasure in it.

Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
Ezekiel 33:11

If God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked, we should not either.

When a lost person dies, their eternity is sealed. They are on to hell followed by the lake of fire. They have no more chances to receive salvation. With this in mind, there really should not be any rejoicing.

In summary, I understand the temptation to rejoice, and want to party in the streets as many Americans did when Osama was killed. It’s one thing to be satisfied justice was done. It’s quite another to publicly celebrate it. I know he inflicted great hurt, but we need to slow down and consider how God sees it.

LIFE APPLICATION

Today’s challenge is to check your attitude. How do you feel about the death of an enemy? When it comes to Osama, are you just glad or perhaps thankful that the threat has been removed? Or, are you glad he is dead?

Pray that God will give you the appropriate attitude in this situation. If you lost a loved one to this particular threat, it may be very hard to not feel delight in the removal of the enemy. Try to remember that it resulted in the death of a wicked person.

Remember, God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked. Should you?

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