Let’s be clear: It is not wrong to rejoice when the wicked fall. We are forbidden to exalt ourselves over our personal enemies (as if they deserved to die and we didn’t) but we surely may rejoice when evil men who have oppressed and killed others perish. I have no problem with thankful praise to God that Osama is dead and no longer around to stir up the ungodly in conspiring to do evil.
Here’s my problem: When America boasts over it’s omnipotence and greatness in assassinating a wicked man. Here are some of the things that have been said (and some are slightly paraphrased) by our president and other leaders:
“This shows how powerful America is. You can’t hide from us. We’ll get you, no matter how long it takes.”
“No one attacks us and gets away with it.”
“This sends a message to the world, no matter how you try to hide, we’ll find you and bring you to justice. This proves the invincibility of our will.”
Do these statements remind you of anyone?
These are the sorts of boasts Nebuchadnezzer, Pharoah, Babylon, Edom, Assyria, Tyre, Rome, and many others made before God showed them that there was Someone else of whom these statements were actually true. It’s not a good sign when the one given success by God, turns and acts as if he gained it by his own prowess and strength. In fact, it’s a pretty clear indicator of who will be next to receive the sure and certain justice of God.
We’ve forgotten how to handle success.
How much better would it have been for us to carry out the mission of Navy Seal Team 6 in complete secrecy and never take credit for it? Plan it, carry it out, reward the team of soldiers who did it, but take no credit for the deed publicly. Simply say to the world that we have received reports that Osama has been killed. Say that we have seen evidence that this report is true and that we are thankful that another of God’s enemies has been removed and we are grateful for the courage and success that has been granted to those who carried out the mission. . . and leave it at that.
Of course, it would soon be suspected that we had done the deed ourselves, but our public stance would simply be one of gratitude and thanksgiving.
The problem with doing it this way of course, is that our President wouldn’t get to boast of his excellent and efficient leadership and “courage.” Our military wouldn’t get to boast of its power and warn the world not to mess with us. We wouldn’t be able to boast over how “bad” we are and challenge all our enemies to “take a number” if they want to try to attack us. We wouldn’t be able to claim to possess divine attributes as we threaten the world and exalt ourselves on high as the only nation on earth that is capable of such great and marvelous feats.
In other words, if we took a humble stance, we would be robbed of bringing glory to ourselves – and if there is one thing modern America will not do, it is miss an opportunity to magnify itself before the world and its own citizens.
That’s my problem.
You say, “C’mon man, you just hate America. You need to be more patriotic.”
No, sorry, you’re wrong. I love my country and because I love it, I don’t want it to receive the judgment that God has promised to give to those who pretend that they are His equal. So, when America acts like Babylon, Assyria, Edom, Egypt, Rome, unfaithful Israel, and every other nation that made itself equal to God, I protest. I would rather we have God’s blessing. I would rather we not end up like Pharoah, Babylon, Rome, and all the other idolatrous kingdoms of the world.
There really is One from whom you cannot hide and from whom you will not escape — and it’s not the CIA, the Navy Seals, the IRS, or our President. And if we refuse to acknowledge Him, we will soon learn what all arrogant tyrants and Kingdoms throughout history have learned, if you pretend to be like God, you will be shown just how impotent you are.
True patriots care about the future of our country. True patriots are dismayed by mindless, idolatrous Nationalism. True patriots understand that the only way we will prosper as a country is by humbling ourselves under the mighty hand of God and devoting ourselves to the only true and omnipotent King and the only Kingdom that actually will stand forever.
This is what’s been missing over the past couple of days . . . and that’s my problem.