When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices,
and when the wicked perish there are shouts of gladness. – Proverbs 11:10
After the news broke about the death of Bin Laden Sunday night, I had kind of a conflicted feeling about the scenes of celebration that I was witnessing. I understand the sentiment to be sure; as this proverb indicates, this is a natural reaction to such an event. I also noticed many people quoting various Bible verses both “pro” celebration and “con” celebration, which might lead some to think the Bible is a bit contradictory about this type of thing. But that only comes from a failure to recognize the difference between commandments and observation. The Bible observes the truth, we tend to celebrate when we feel someone gets “what’s coming to them” in whatever way that manifests. That isn’t a commandment however. We are encouraged to mourn the demise of the wicked and to seek their repentance and warn them of judgment if given an opportunity to do so. God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked either and we are to take our cues from His standards and His perspective. We shouldn’t rejoice in the death of the wicked and when we do it is another reminder of God’s perfect character juxtaposed against our own fleshly nature.
Take this time as a reminder of the fact that God loved each of us while we were still His enemy and wicked in His sight.
6For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8