I've been praying for Osama bin Laden for nearly ten years now. Even as I write I'm remembering several prayer meetings wherein we pleaded with the Lord to reveal himself to this man. Don't get me wrong, I abhor the life he lived and I grieve at what he's done. I, like most Americans, was outraged on 9/11/01 and wanted him to pay for his actions with his life. And yet, as I processed my feelings with the Lord I came to see that my sin is also great and that bin Laden, like me, was in need of a Savior. So I began to pray for him and hope against hope that Christ would win glory for himself by pouring his mercy upon him.
I didn't hear the news until this morning. Part of me doubted it was true. Part of me rejoiced that justice has been done. Part of me grieved that a lost soul could no longer be saved and is now in hell where he will grieve and gnash his teeth forever.
Whatever your reaction to his death, be careful not to rejoice too much, and be sure to search your own soul. Consider the words of Jesus from Luke 13:1-9.
"There were some present at that very time who told him [Jesus] about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, 'Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.'
"And he told this parable: 'A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, "Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?" And he answered him, "Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down."'"