LOVE YOUR ENEMY…EVEN THAT ONE
May 2, 2011
As I was sitting in the kitchen eating my cereal, I looked to my right and saw President Obama walking to the presidential podium.
“Good evening,” he said, “Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda…”
We had finally found the man responsible for the death of six lives and thousands injured in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. We had finally found the man responsible for the bombing of U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya, leaving 200 dead and 4,500 wounded. We found the man responsible for bombing the USS Cole, killing 17 and injuring 40 Navy servicemen and women in the year 2000. Finally, after almost a decade long manhunt, we had finally found the man responsible for the 2,977 lives lost on American soil on September 11, 2001.
We did it. It’s all finally over. Number 1 on the FBI’s Most Wanted List has been crossed out. The crowd at the Mets and Phillies game proudly chanted “U.S.A” with tears of joy. Fans hugged and celebrated despite it being a tied game in the ninth inning. Everyone was united in national pride.
I let out a noise that I can only describe as a celebratory victory screech followed by a patriotic rendition of “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead.”
“What are you doing?” asked my Mother, as she entered the kitchen.
“We killed bin Laden,” I replied, pointing to the TV excitedly.
Mom simply replied, “Why are you happy? God created him. He was made in God’s image. God loved him. He can’t be converted now that he’s dead.”
We all know the words of our savior, “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you,” (Luke 6:27–28 ESV). We all know the words of Solomon, “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the Lord see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him,” (Proverbs 24:17–18 ESV). We all know the words of Paul, “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good,” (Romans 12:17–21 ESV).
Those words are easier to understand and apply in times of peace than in times of war. We are commanded to love those who kill and injure thousands of innocent civilians. We are commanded to love those who torture and murder our brothers and sisters. We are commanded to love those who ruin our lives and the lives of those we hold most dear.
The body of Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden currently lies rotting somewhere at the bottom of the Arabian Sea. His soul currently waits to be put into eternal condemnation in fire. Meditate on the words of the Holy Spirit here… “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:8 ESV
Osama bin Laden was as much of an enemy of God as he was an enemy of America. Yet Christ died for him just like he did for you and me because He was a sinner just like you and me. The death of anyone outside of Christ is never worth celebrating. It is a tragedy worth only mourning.