"The End of Bin Laden

A dripping, blood-red X over the face of Osama bin Laden is the cover for the May 20, 2011, issue of TIME. Only four times in its publishing history has the magazine chosen to red-X the face of a notorious human being: Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi and now Osama bin Laden. The press is still abuzz over the stunning surprise and speed with which “the world’s #1 terrorist” was hunted and killed last week. When late on Sunday night President Obama announced bin Laden’s death to the nation and world, jubilant crowds quickly amassed outside the White House and in New York City to celebrate the death of the September 11 mastermind. Seal Team 6 celebrates its precision execution of the raid—Pakistan protests violation of its sovereignty—and earth marvels over the United State’s relentless and finally successful pursuit of its most-wanted nemesis. And how is it with earth’s Christians? As I watched the jubilation of the crowds, read the editorials and followed the unfolding story, the irony of it all occurred to me—we have found reason to rejoice in the death of another. We party because our enemy has been slain. And who would renounce the strong sense of relief family members of the September 11 victims experienced with the news that the perpetrator of that heinous crime had met his own untimely death? “Justice has been done,” was the President’s somber pronouncement. But does God rejoice in the death of Osama bin Laden? King David fled for his life, when his rebel son Absalom lead a coup d'état in Israel to overthrow his father. But days later when the army of the father overpowered the army of the rebel son and Absalom was slain by a commando team, there was no party back at headquarters. Instead the father king wept: “‘O my son Absalom—my son, my son Absalom—if only I had died in your place! O Absalom my son, my son!’” (II Samuel 18:33) On hearing the king’s loud lamenting, Joab—David’s commanding general—burst into the royal chamber with the angry charge that the king’s inconsolable weeping was a disgrace to the nation. But was it? Could it be that David’s weeping was a shadowy representation of another Father King? Will God and the universe party when rebel son and fallen angel Lucifer at last suffers eternal death for his ruthless and unrelenting crimes against the kingdom? Or like David, will the Father of us all bow his head in his hands and weep, “If only I could have died in your place?” Will divine love love its enemies, its nemesis enemy, to the very end? Calvary is answer enough, is it not? “‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do’” (Luke 23:34). And that is why there will be only one death the universe will ever truly rejoice over throughout eternity: “And they sang a new song . . . ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!’” (Revelation 5:9, 12). It is that death, the death of Christ our Savior, that compels us to love even our enemies. Which is why in the end the only dripping, blood-red X that will matter for any of us, for all of us, is the one atop Calvary. “And they sang a new song.”

Comments

AMEN.

comment se réjouir de la mort, même du pire criminel, alors que Dieu notre Père Lui le pleure. Pardonnes nous Seigneur.

I appreciate the quote that was mistakenly attributed to Martin Luther King this past week. "I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. " - jesica Dovey. The outcome for Osama bin Laden was expected, and probably deserved, but celebration over his death, even if it's justice, would seem to go against the character that Christ desires to create in us.

Amen! Praise Jesus :)

It's a good devotion and also flashed in my thought. That we can not determine ourself as a decision to someone live unless God Him self as a Creator. Thanks pastor Dwight, I really love it and Happy Sabbath.

Dwight, that is profoundly so well put and so true--so reflective of Who God is and what He is like. Thank you for sharing your reflections. There is a reason why I appreciate your TV preaching and talks--but it defies brevity, at least for me. If I were to be succinct I would say, "It is because you are for real." I wish you would have been the pastor when I attended AU Seminary back in 70-72 but you were probably a young lad in Japan or some place. I would guess you are ten years younger than me. I am in my 20th year working for the state of Texas with people who have developmental and intellectual disabilities. I served as an Adventist pastor for 17 years prior to that. During an interim period of my life Dan Smith at Hinsdale and I became friends ( a very good friend in time of need) and he spoke well of you. I'll close by saying it is very good getting to know you through your TV ministry and I wish you God's continued and richest blessings my friend. Ken Cartwright

We as Pastors have the mandate to preach the gospel truth, but we should not just look at the gospel message on onside and build a message on that. Times and moments must be rightly applied as we teach our congregations. Don't forget dispensational period. If only people like Osama bin laden will be given all the opportunity will Christians have ground to freely preach the gospel of peace? Moreso, you consider the act of Obama as unchristian, know that Obama is not Christian president only rather Americans therefore he is duty bound to protect Americans lives and properties.

Pastor,I get what you're saying and i enjoyed your reading, but the analogy of David and Absalom with America and Osama bin Laden has no correlation. Of course there was no rejoicing in Israel and of course David wept; it was his son who had been slain. Osama was nothing to America why wouldn't the United States rejoice? Did Israel not rejoice in many other ocacions when they defeated their enemies? "Saul kill his thousands David his ten thousands?" I have a quote, though wrongly attributed to Martin Luther King Jr (the last few sentences are his) but it expresses my sentiment on the matter: "I 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 can not drive out hate: only love can." Thank you pastor.

"Unforgiving Servant" The King who called his servants to account was a good master, who trusted them, or he would surely have found out that noe was dishonest before he had been cheated of so large an amount. For ten thousand talents was equal to about twelve million dollars. The wicked servant was probably a tax-collector who had put into his own pocket the money he collected for the King. He had spent it, too, for " he had not wherewith to pay,". The Jews and the people of many other nations of that time, kept slaves, who were bought and sold, and had to work for their masters without receiving any wages, just as was the fate of the colored people in America before the Civil War. Now, if a person were dishonest, or contracted a debt which he was unable to pay, the man to whom he owed the money, his creditor, had the right to sell the debtor or take him as his slave.."If the whole Debt was not paid by this proceeding"

Jesus gave His life as a ransom for everyone - including the Apostle Paul, Ahab, Jeroboam, Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot and Osama bin Laden! It's His desire that ALL sinners come to repentance. While we should feel satisfied when justice has been served on notorious criminals, we can only begin to imagine how the Savior's heart must weep for every human who rejects Him - notorious criminal or not! No wonder the the Lord declares in Ezekiel 18:23, 32 that He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked! Thank you, Pastor Dwight!

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