When I heard about the death of Osama bin Laden, I felt a heaviness in my heart that I remember feeling when Saddam Hussein was executed. I wasn’t mourning his death as if he was a beloved man or even a good man but a part me just instantly felt that rejoicing about this man’s death would be completely offensive to God. I am convinced that God would rather that this man had repented and made peace with his Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ rather than dying with his atrocities and sins unforgiven. Even if we captured him alive and then the government decided to execute him, at least he had one last opportunity to repent. I pray that someone told him about Jesus while he was still alive. I saw a really good quote on one of my Facebook friends page that kind of expresses my feelings more eloquently.
”I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” -Martin Luther King, Jr
The following verse immediately came to me as I was processing the fact that Osama had been killed.
Ezekiel 33:11 “Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked but that the wicked will turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?”
I mourn for the lives that the man had a hand in killing and the loved ones that he’s devastated over the years, but I really, truly, honestly cannot bring myself to rejoice that someone is very likely spending their eternity in Hell. What I believe we are called to do is stand in the gap, in prayer, for our countries, fellow citizens and fellow men because this event will have an impact on the lives of others; there could be retaliation and we just have to continue to pray for wisdom for our leaders and safety for our citizens.