Burn in hell! Is anyone else feeling that way about
But, does anyone else feel conflicted inside this morning, also? I do. On the one hand, There is a surge of elation, patriotism, and freedom now that Osama Bin Laden is dead, shot in the head (I can hear the limericks starting even now.) Justice has definitely been served, and praise God for raising up the man who killed Osama; the man who was used to dole out the hand of God’s justice. I want to meet this man responsible for Osama’s death, and shake his hand and say, “Thank you for your bravery and your accuracy.”
On the other hand, there is a part of me, way down deep inside, that grieves for Osama and men like him; for their souls.
When I first heard Osama’s name in the news, a looong time ago, way before September 11, 2001, my soul scrutinized the presence of evil. I knew that we would be hearing more about him. Somehow I knew that this man was destined to be used in a very prominent way, and it wasn’t going to be good. I remember saying to my husband, “We haven’t heard the last of him.” And we hadn’t.
There has been only two other times I’ve ever really sensed, in a major way, another’s destiny; when I met Paul W. Smith while shopping, and when I met another man who became a Godly friend of mine (I don’t want to mention his name because he may read this, and he hasn’t yet achieved the heights to which God has called him.) The only way I can explain it is that there is a sense of ‘destiny for greatness’ that permeates the very essence of these two men’s spirits.
There is a difference between these two types of men, though. With Osama I sensed darkness and evil. With Paul W. Smith and my friend, I sense something great and grand, filled with light and hope.
When Osama was at his height of media exposure, I remember praying that God would turn him from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to the power of God so that he may have forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith. I also prayed that God would take him out.
God took him out, but did God turn him? Examining his fruit, we know Osama was the epitome of evil, and if it were up to us and our sense of justice, Osama definitely will be taking his place in hell. As a matter of fact my outer man screams, “Burn in hell!” But Osama was just a man, so call me crazy, but I have this hope in my inner man, that even a man as evil as Osama, somehow, in his last days on earth, was exposed to someone that God had raised up; a man who was used to dole out the hand of God’s grace. A man willing and brave enough to tell Osama about the gospel of Jesus Christ. A man used to handle the weapon of God’s word that pierced, not his head, but his soul.
Today, I feel even more conflicted about my own appointment with eternity, and that maybe, just maybe, I may step into heaven (is it of arrogance or faith that makes me think that I will be there?) and find Osama Bin Laden there, bowing at the feet of Jesus. And if I do, I want to meet the man God used, the man responsible for Osama’s life. I want to shake his hand and say, “Thank you for your bravery and your accuracy.”
We can and do judge fruit, but only God can judge the heart.
Another Paul is coming to mind right now. His name used to be Saul, and he was the epitome of evil to all Christians everywhere. In a Christian’s mind Saul would have been no different than Osama. But then Saul met Jesus, and Jesus renamed him Paul. Listen to his cry (and mine) in these words:
“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who believe on him and receive eternal life.”
Father, thank you for justice being served! How unjust it seems to us mere humans that Osama may have a chance, slim though it be, of being in heaven. How unjust that would seem. But then, that reminds me that my sin is no less or no greater than Osama’s. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. That is why we cannot be saved from the wages of sin by anything we do, but by faith alone!!! Maybe we focus on this victory over evil because it makes us uncomfortable in our own skin to focus on our own sin that, in Your sight, Lord, is just as horrible as Osama’s. God, by the power of your Holy Spirit at work in us, change us more and more into the image of Your Son. In Jesus is our only hope. Amen