Over the last two days you have no doubt heard that Osama Bin Laden has met his end after a raid by US Special Forces. I heard many joyful people expressing their gratitude on Face Book. I also heard many quick to judge them as if they were delighting in the death of the wicked. Here was my response on Face Book.
“I am hearing a mixed of comments tonight about Bin Laden. We shouldn’t rejoice in someone’s death, even someone like Bin Laden, but some sense of relief and joy in a victory against someone so evil should not be discouraged. Thousands of US civilians as well as military personnel died Because of him. We should let those families rejoice a little. We should also congratulate our military on a job well done.”
I don’t think we should be so quick to judge. Pulling out Ezekiel 33:11 11 Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’ The context of this verse is God speaking through Ezekiel to the people of Israel who are wicked. It’s not enough to quote scripture if you have no idea what it means. We can make the bible say practically anything we want by doing that. To keep in line with context it would be more like Paul admonishing the church, or your pastor admonishing you of some sin made know to him you have committed. Should we delight in the death of Osama Bin Laden? I don’t think so. Should we delight in the fact that a terrorist has been brought to justice? Absolutely.
My point is that we should not whip scripture out like it is a play thing. Sometimes we know just enough scripture to be dangerous. let me end with a scripture that I like to think about before I use scripture to admonish someone else.
1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.