2 Samuel 1-3, Psalm 87
A couple of years ago, I saw Bill O’Reilly proudly tell his audience that the Boston Marathon Bomber (this is a paraphrase) got what he deserved and is where he belongs, he went straight to Hell. Recently after the Las Vegas shooting, Sean Hannity led an event back at the scene of the crime with music, etc. Before the large audience, he rallied those assembled to cheers as he exclaimed the shooter went to Hell. I have heard many other commentators say similar things when other enemies, such as Osama Bin Laden, various Isis leaders, etc. were killed. In Ezekiel 18:23 we read that the Lord does not delight in the death of anyone, “Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?” God considers each and every life so precious and as in the verse above, He does not rejoice in the death of the wicked. Many people who have been guilty of terrible acts on Earth have repented before death, such as Jeffrey Dahmer and Son of Sam (David Berkowitz) though he is still alive and ministering in prison. In the Bible, we have the amazing example of Paul, who took delight in diligently seeking for believers in Christ and bringing them to their death, only to read of his conversion in Acts 9. As we all know, he went on to spread the message of the Gospel to the Gentile world.
We see in 2 Samuel 1-3, David mourning the death of two individuals who treated David as an enemy. Though Jonathon was a dear friend, we see David mourning the loss of Saul in chapter 1 and Abner in chapter 3. We read in 2 Samuel 1:12-13, “Therefore David took hold of his own clothes and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him. And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathon his son, for the people of the Lord and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.” David then goes on to write a lamentation over Saul and Jonathon and had it taught to the children of Judah in 1:17-27. Though General Abner was in charge of Saul’s army and hunted down David all those years, when he is murdered by Joab, we read David’s response to this in 2 Samuel 3:31, “Then David said to Joab and to all the people who were with him, “Tear your clothes, gird yourselves with sackcloth, and mourn for Abner.” And King David followed the coffin.” David respected and showed love to his enemies.
May we all see life as precious as God does. We do not determine the eternal destination of anyone, only God does. How we behave around our enemies can have profound consequences. There are currently multiple stories of Muslim Isis fighters turning to Christianity after seeing the love of their enemies. It is a difficult thing when there is so much wickedness surrounding us, but we are commanded to love our enemies, not judge them, Jesus said in His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:44-45, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven;…”.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: