How Should We Respond to the Death of the Wicked?

With the recent death of Osama Bin Laden, my thoughts immediately did not jump to answer this biblically. Like many Americans, my initial reaction was relief and to some extent joy, I mean this man was a mass-murderer of thousands of Americans and has continued to terrorize in many ways. How should we react in situations where wicked, evil men are destroyed, especially when they have caused you or others close to you great pain?

First, it is right to desire justice for sin. Especially for the murder of innocent lives, in fact justice must be carried out, Genesis 9:6, Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed,  for God made man in his own image.” In Revelation souls that have been martyred for their faith in Christ cry out for justice. Revelation 6:10, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 

Second, do not take pleasure in the death of the wicked. This is where many of us in situations such as these cross the line into sin. We know justice must be played out, but we take pleasure in seeing their demise. Ezekiel 33:11, “As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways…” God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked, no matter how wicked they are and neither should we as believers in Christ. Our desire should be that they turn from their way, turn from their sin and to God and live. Do we truly pray and desire for the salvation of Muslim terrorists that they would turn from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light?

As Christians we should praise the Lord for His justice when He judges the wicked, but also be saddened as we realize another soul has perished to eternal hellfire. Let us be faithful to preach the gospel to every person, realizing that we too would be bound for the same eternal punishment if it were not for Christ’s complete and redemptive work on the cross.

Soli Deo Gloria