In the movie Karate Kid there is a moment in the tournament where the “bad coach” tells his student to sweep the leg and thus put out Daniel-son. After that happens and Daniel is in big trouble he returns to finish the match. When he gets into the crane position and kicks the teeth out of the opponent everyone cheers and rushes the mat. Everyone in the theater cheers also. Every time I watch the movie I want to pump my fist that the bad guy was beaten.
This past Sunday night, President Obama stated that Osama Bin Laden had been captured and killed. Shouts of joy and fists pumping were everywhere! Headlines and by lines alike were gloating. Do Americans have the right to be happy about this news? Yes. I believe we do. Do we have the right to over reach and demonize a person, a religious position, and a nation? No I don’t think we do.
17 Don’t gloat when your enemy falls,
and don’t let your heart rejoice when he stumbles,
18 or the LORD will see, be displeased,
and turn His wrath away from him.
It boils down to spiritual sportsmanship. We teach our children all about this concept. It is a principle we want. Your team wins and there is slaps, cheers and smiles. Then you line up and shake hands and tell the other team “Good job!” This is sportsmanship. However, if after the slaps, cheers, and smiles the team were to start taunting the other team this would not be good. If the winning team began to mock and jeer at the losing team we would be ashamed at their behavior. I hope!
Is there a different standard for Osama Bin Laden? No. Scripture tells us not to gloat. We are to have spiritual sportsmanship. Just because the head of the snake is captured and killed does not give us the right to mock and jeer at a people created by God who also share DNA going back to Abraham. Is his wife any less grieving? Is his family any less hurt? Are they any less human? As humans we are created by God. As humans we are dominated by a sinful state. As humans we have one path to reach God, faith in Jesus Christ. It is the same for them as for us. OBL was a bad, evil person. Apart from Jesus Christ he has the same destiny as a white middle-class Judeo-Christian American: Hell. We must be careful to remember humanity as a whole. God loves humanity. God desires to redeem humanity.
11 Tell them: As I live”—the declaration of the Lord GOD —”I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked person should turn from his way and live. (G) Repent, repent of your evil ways! Why will you die, house of Israel?
Lord, may I learn to love and pray for my enemies as Jesus teaches. May the events of this last weekend bring about the salvation of this family. May someone have the opportunity to share Your love, grace, and mercy. May faith in Jehovah become evident around the world.