“We came, we saw, he died. Ha haha.”
“He died … wimpering, crying, and screaming all the way.”
Left and right. Hillary Clinton gloating over the death of Saddam Hussein and Donald Trump gloating over the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Gloating. Maybe even bragging.
I’m appalled by the disregard for basic human decency that our nation has embraced and that has been joined by nation’s leaders. Don’t for a minute think that I shed tears for the deaths of the two men just mentioned. But how about a little common civility? These are deaths we’re talking about here – these men, too, were made in the image of God even if they were not godly. They were hunted down in their own lands by our military and the end result was their deaths. This is grim stuff.
There is very little in the Bible that would allow us to rejoice over the death of the wicked. There’s much more along the lines of:
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
Lest the LORD see it, and it displease Him,
And He turn away His wrath from him. Pro 24:17,18
Instead, we rejoice in the providence of God. If He reduces the wicked, we are relieved. If He used our military to do it, we are relieved. But vengeance is His, after all; gloating, bragging and pride are always out of bounds.
In the 1939 classic movie, “The Wizard of Oz,” the Wicked Witch of the East was killed when Dorothy’s tornado-tossed house landed on her. The witch had enslaved the diminutive Munchkins and her sudden death caused an outpouring of celebration. “Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead!” they sang. Great movie scene.They rejoiced in their good fortune – Providence, if you will.
But they weren’t gloating over their own efforts. We are. And I think it makes us little people. Smaller than Munchkins.
~John Bingaman, November 2019