"Ding Dong! The witch is dead!" This is basically what I woke up to this morning in light of the death of Osama Bin Laden. The world is dancing, rejoicing and bragging over the absence of one less terrorist in this world. I don't blame the celebration...but it leaves me with questions.
Ephesians 6:12 says, "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." Bin Laden was a man created by God for the purpose of loving Him. But rather, his life was spent as a demonized leader bringing much evil to this world and training others to do the same. I say demonized because how else can one person wreak that much hell on this planet if not by evil influence? I do not think it is far fetched at all to say that within his spirit ruled cosmic powers over this present darkness. So, if we as followers of Jesus wrestle not against flesh, but against spiritual forces of evil...what has happened to those physical forces of evil now that the Bin Laden flesh container is destroyed? Where have they gone? Or, were they destroyed when Bin Laden died?
I would equate Bin Laden to be similar to a Pharaoh figure in the time of Moses. They were both evil oppressors of God's people. They both refused to yield their lives to the one true God. They were power hungry at the murderous expense of innocent people. God supernaturally destroyed Pharaoh when the Red Sea closed over him and his army. What happened to the spiritual forces of evil that resided upon him? When God, in the Old Testament, destroyed human enemies that opposed his people, did He destroy the principalities that empowered them at the same time? In Mark 5:1-20 is the story of Jesus bringing freedom to the demonized man who had within him a "legion" of demons. I've read that the word "legion" was a military term that equated to around 10,000 in number! How a physical, earthly body can contain such madness is astounding to think about! The story ends with the demons crying out for mercy and they ask Jesus to send them into a herd of pigs, rather than expel them from the area. Jesus permits this and the pigs go crazy and throw themselves off a cliff. Were the demons destroyed when the pigs died? Or were they allowed to remain bringing torment to their next victim?
I have read and heard much celebration from many people over the past 12 hours...from both Christians and non-Christians. The interesting thing to me is that the response is the same from both parties. Christians...one of my questions is how can we feel relief of the destruction of one man's flesh if what spiritually resided within him still remains as a stronghold of evil on the region this man's flesh lived? It seems that our focus would then be on the temporal, the flesh and blood, rather than the spiritual. As intently evil as Bin Laden was, God made him for relationship with Himself. I can't help but wonder if while we celebrate, God grieves the loss of another child. I, myself, am not sure what is the right response. Part of me feels thankful that the enemy took a hit yesterday...but, I'm wondering, too, does the enemy view it that way? Satan exists right now to destroy as many humans as he can before his own final destruction comes. Is the enemy rejoicing right alongside us at the death of one of God's creations?
I'm sure this will not be a popular thought...but my heart feels sad that Bin Laden chose a life outside of the goodness of God and the salvation through Jesus Christ. Eternity will not be spent with him. God, I think, would have loved for Bin Laden's heart to be turned towards Him and to have all of eternity in relationship to one more son. My heart feels this way towards anyone that dies before understanding God's love for them. How can anyone live a day without hearing the voice of God? without knowing His touch on their lives? without seeing His goodness and favor displayed over them? without the knowledge that He wants you? without the plans that He has laid out for your life, plans with a purpose and hope? without experiencing freedom from sin and darkness? It's no wonder that ALL of heaven rejoices at the salvation of one more human. But as much as they rejoice at the addition of a son or a daughter, how much does heaven grieve at the loss of another?
I want to know what's happened to those powers and principalities that drove Bin Laden...I want to know so that if they were not destroyed when he died, then I can pray and intercede against them. Because, 1 John 4:4 says, "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." Greater is the Spiritual Force that lives within me than the one that lived in him. It's my rightful privilege as an heir of Christ to make my Spiritual Force known to wreak HIS havoc on His enemies. God desires that all men be saved...even the ones that we in our small human understanding would deem impossible for salvation.