Trampled under our feet

We finally got him, and who isn’t thinking about it?  Okay, some folks in this country aren’t thinking about death of Osama Bin Laden.  I am.  I have two very different emotions running through my mind about his demise.

My first is my very human response.  It comes from my patriotic heart, the one that served my country, the one that stood in a room wearing my Army PT uniform watching in horror as two large towers in NYC fell, the part that knew horrifically that people didn’t make it out in time, the one that got locked down in our scantily guarded Reserve Center putting armed guards at our gates not knowing how far spread this attack actually was.  It stems from watching my own husband drop his duffel bag next to a bus, preparing to fly out of the country to the war zone.  Watching my friends do the same to their loved ones, sharing with them the loneliness at home while those loved ones.  My human response was to gloat, dance, cheer, hoot and holler and to rejoice in the demise of my enemy.  It brought to mind the Roman processional when the conquering general would ride through Rome in a parade fashion driving his conquered prisoners before him in humiliation!!  The same imagery that is used in 2 Corinthians 2:14.

My second response is a very different one.  It hearkens me back to Romans 5:7-8, where I remember that I myself was once an enemy of God’s.  I was once (and still am) a sinner, living an unrepentant lifestyle, the captain of my ship.  The Old Testament is full of stories of God’s enemies and His dealings with them.  God is just and righteous, which is hard to understand by humans standards because our human emotions are so selfish and unjust.  God was right in dealing strongly with His enemies, and that means that I deserve His wrath and anger.  So Bin Laden’s death brought all this to my mind.  An enemy is dealt with in harsh ways, hunted down and shot as quickly as possible.  I was an enemy of God’s, to be dealt with harshly. 

Yet, I do not have to be dealt with that way, I have grace, abundantly offered through Jesus Christ my Lord.  I was shown my sin, I repented, and the death that was meant for me was put on Jesus.  Bin Laden did not repent, he didn’t show remorse, he died an enemy of the U.S. and the King sitting upon His eternal throne.  However, I must also remember that revenge is not mine to seek and God, in His word, has told me how I am to deal with my enemies. Romans 12:19-21 explains my responsibility to my enemies, because God’s justice and His protection of His children is far worse than I could ever do.

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