Our president stated that it wasn’t necessary and in fact wouldn’t be appropriate to ‘spike the ball’ by displaying Bin Laden’s body or even pictures of his body. Examples of displaying the bodies of fallen enemies, however, are found in the Bible. Such actions are found in both Old Testament history as well as New Testament prophecy.
During the reign of King Saul of Israel, there was ongoing animosity between the Israelites and Philistines. Recall the story of the lad David and the giant of the Philistines named Goliath. The setting was when the Philistines invaded Judah.
“Now the Philistines gathered their armies together to battle, and were gathered at Sochoh, which belongs to Judah…And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together…and drew up in battle array against the Philistines.” I Samuel 17:1-2
“And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath…whose height was six cubits and a span…Now the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his iron spearhead weighed six hundred shekels…and the Philistine said, ‘I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.’ When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.” I Samuel 17:4-11
But the youthful Israelite named David responded to Goliath’s challenge.
“This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, I will strike you and take your head from you…” I Samuel 17:46
And so it was, with a sling and a single stone, young David slew the giant Goliath.
“So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him…” I Samuel 17:50
At this point it is noteworthy as to what David or King Saul didn’t do with Goliath’s body. Recall during this time in history the Philistines worshipped a heathen god named Dagon. The Israelites did not prepare Goliath’s body for a proper burial to honor his religion. Instead young David ‘spiked the ball.’
“Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine (put his foot on Goliath’s neck), took his (Goliath’s) sword and drew it out of its sheath…and cut off his head with it. And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.” I Samuel 17:51
But it didn’t end there.
“And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem… Then, as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand.” I Samuel 17:54, 57
So much for political correctness. What was the reaction of the other Israelites upon learning of David’s victory?
“Now it had happened as they were coming home, when David was returning from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women had come out of all the cities in Israel, singing and dancing…” I Samuel 18:6
These events all occurred within the sovereign oversight of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Near the end of the Bible there is another significant event illustrating the viewing the bodies of enemies and the widespread celebration of their demise. Not only does God permit this event, He orchestrates it to reveal His majesty to all nations.
At the midpoint of the seven year tribulation period, when Antichrist reveals his true nature, God will give power to two witnesses during the final three and a half years prior to the return of Christ. Because of the power given them and the inability of the enemy to destroy them during this time they are hated by the world.
“And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days… And if anyone wants to harm them he must be killed…When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them and kill them.” Revelation 11:3-7
So then, are these two witnesses given a Christian or Jewish funeral? Are there bodies respected and honored?
“And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city (Jerusalem) …and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another…” Revelation 11:8-10
But that is not the end of the story.
“Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, ‘Come up here.’ And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them.” Revelation 11:11-12
Once again, current issues are illustrated in the Bible and Solomon’s words ring true.
“That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9