Is God glad that Osama bin Laden is dead? Prominent evangelical pastor John Piper says yes and no.
God’s emotions, like humans, are complex and not always black and white as some portray them to be, writes Piper, founder of the ministry Desiring God, on the group’s blog this week. It is true that He delights in the death of the wicked, but at the same time death does not bring God pleasure.
Citing Ezekiel 18:23, 32, Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, points out that the Bible records, “I do not pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.”
But in other verses, the Bible records that God finds pleasure in the judgment and death of unrepentant evil doers. In Ezekiel 5:13, the Bible records, “Thus shall my anger spend itself, and I will vent my fury upon them and satisfy myself,” and in Proverbs 1:25-26, “Because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you.”
“My suggestion is that the death and misery of the unrepentant is in and of itself not a pleasure to God,” writes Piper. “God is not a sadist. He is not malicious or bloodthirsty. The death and suffering considered for itself alone is not His delight.”
“Rather, when a rebellious, wicked, unbelieving person is judged, what God has pleasured in is the exaltation of truth and righteousness, and the vindication of His own honor and glory.”
To read more, click here.