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Oct
20

A Christian perspective on the death of Muammar Gadhafi

In the recent news of the reported death of Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi, I was able to catch up with a couple of well-known Bible scholars to get their perspectives on this situation. First, King Solomon had this to say: “Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. Do not lie in wait like an outlaw against a righteous man’s house, do not raid his dwelling place; for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity. Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, or the LORD will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from him. Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out. Fear the LORD and the king, my son, and do not join with the rebellious, for those two will send sudden destruction upon them, and who knows what calamities they can bring?” (Proverbs 24:14-22)   When I asked Matthew Henry to comment on Solomon’s perspective, he added this: 1. The pleasure we are apt to take in the troubles of an enemy is forbidden us. If any have done us an ill turn, or if we bear them ill-will only because they stand in our light or in our way, when any damage comes to them (suppose they fall), or any danger (suppose they stumble), our corrupt hearts are too apt to conceive a secret delight and satisfaction in it-Aha! so would we have it; they are entangled; the wilderness has shut them in-or, as Tyrus said concerning Jerusalem (Eze. 26:2) I shall be replenished, now she is laid waste. “Men hope in the ruin of their enemies or rivals to wreak their revenge or to find their account; but be not thou so inhuman; rejoice not when the worst enemy thou hast falls.” There may be a holy joy in the destruction of God’s enemies, as it tends to the glory of God and the welfare of the church (Ps. 58:10); but in the ruin of our enemies, as such, we must by no means rejoice; on the contrary, we must weep even with them when they weep (as David, Ps....

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© Israel Wayne.