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Seconds away from turning in last night, I heard that the President was going to address the nation. As we all know by now since it was reported over and over as we waited and waited, a live, Presidential address at 10:30pm on a Sunday after everyone was home and prepping for Monday is far from ordinary. In fact, it is extraordinary. After 9 years, 7 months and 20 days (3,519 days), the United States military achieved their top priority in their mission against al Qaeda. Osama Bin Laden is dead. President Obama said, “On nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s terror: Justice has been done.” The United States government rightly executed its divinely appointed authority to bring wrath upon workers of evil, bringing about justice for a country and its citizens, especially those who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s terrorism. A just government cannot stand idly by, as it “does bear the sword in vain.” But during the President’s address and in much of the following commentary, I was reminded of a few truths. First, though “justice has been done”, it is only a glimpse of true justice. Ultimately, every human being deserves death for their willful pride and rebellion against the One True God. Mankind does not deserve justice in the sense that it has been used these past hours. It is a mercy that God has not left us to ourselves, dead in our sin and objects of wrath, for that is what we truly deserve. Bin Laden met his just end, but I am keenly reminded that if my sinful heart and rebellious actions against the Creator were revealed to the world, there would be many who would want me to get what I deserve.

We also must remember that God is magnified when justice prevails in our world. John Piper wrote on September 12, 2001, that God-ordained authorities using “force to restrain evil and bring law-breakers to justice” bring glory to God in displaying His character and His will that sin be somewhat restrained in this world. The United States’ execution of justice points us to the God who is just and who will one day make all things right in a world filled with injustice. When this news comes up in conversation today, boldly point those around you, both believers and unbelievers, to the ultimate reality of true and coming justice so that Christians may glorify God and unbelievers may have an opportunity to hear the good news of the gospel. Today, let us boldly proclaim the story of redemption that culminated in the death and resurrection of Jesus, where justice and mercy met.

Thirdly, God’s plan of redemption will not stop. It will not hit any roadblocks. It will not be deterred. It will come to pass. As our country’s top officials slap each other’s backs at the accomplishment of a mission that the world had come to wonder if success was achievable, we see a picture worth a thousand words. Judgment is coming for all (Acts 17:30-31; Revelation 20:11-15). We can fight it. We can ignore it. We can even try to hide from it. But one day, “God’s righteous judgment will be revealed” (Romans 2:5) and “Christ will judge the living and the dead” (1 Timothy 4:1), both believers and unbelievers (Romans 14:10,12; Matthew 25:36-41). We are heading somewhere and it is to stand before a great white throne and Jesus Christ sitting upon it. Though Osama met a violent and just end, it is nothing compared to having to account for his heinous actions against a holy God.

Not only is judgment coming, but our life’s end as well. Whether we die someday or are alive when the Last Day arrives, our time will come to a close. Maybe it is today. Bin Laden woke up yesterday like he had every day for the previous 54 years, unaware that the previous 8 months had been leading up to his death. We do not know when death will come, but it is one of the sure things in life. And even if you live during the time when Christ returns, even that event will be sudden and unexpected (Matthew 24:44, 25:13). Let us live with our eyes fixed on Jesus as we run this race. Let this news be a reminder that we are not guaranteed tomorrow, so that you may pursue your joy in Christ alone today in everything you do for His glory.

So let us be reminded today of the God who created all things for his glory with justice having a right and good place in it. Let us be reminded that we too are sinners deserving death and in need of great mercy, and new mercies every day. Praise be to God for his justice and mercy! If justice is all we had, judgment is all we would receive. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-7).

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