Abusing God’s Word.
There is a new bumper sticker and T-shirt that is the current rage:
“Prayer for Obama.”
This verse reads, “May his days be few; may another seize his position.”
It is obvious that the people who wear this shirt do not like President Obama. This, at face value, is not a great deal unlike people who drove around with bumper stickers that read, “01.20.09,” for the day George W. Bush left office. It seems that way, but there’s more to the story.
“May his days be few; may another seize his position.” If a person does not like Barack Obama as their President, and if this is a prayer that he lose the next election, there really is no problem. The problem, however, is that they are abusing God’s Word. Psalm 109, in its entirety is pretty ugly. What follows verse 8 reveals that this is not an innocent “01.20.09,” or a prayer that Obama will lose the next election:
8May his days be few;
may another seize his position.
9May his children be orphans,
and his wife a widow.
10May his children wander about and beg;
may they be driven out of the ruins they inhabit.
11May the creditor seize all that he has;
may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil.
12May there be no one to do him a kindness,
nor anyone to pity his orphaned children.
13May his posterity be cut off;
may his name be blotted out in the second generation.
14May the iniquity of his father be remembered before the Lord,
and do not let the sin of his mother be blotted out.
This is not innocent. In fact, this “Prayer for Obama” is blasphemy.
First off, regardless of how one feels about Barack Obama, whether one loves him or
loathes him as the President of the United States, he is the President of the United States and was elected to be so by a significant majority of people. In he process of how we do elections, he was elected. If people do not like him, it is their right to vote against him and vote against people who support him. It is also their right, and privilege, to speak out against him and his policies.
But this, all in all, is not about Barack Obama. It is about people who are calling themselves Christians, abusing God’s Word, and praying for Obama’s death. It goes even further than that. They want his legacy destroyed and his family to live in poverty and misery.
People look at Psalm 109 and wonder how this kind of stuff ends up in the Bible.
The Psalms are not ‘teaching’ books like much of the Bible. They are songs, and they are prayers that touch the visceral feelings the people had. Some are light-hearted and joyful, some are elegant and beautiful, and some speak of the anger that people had for being conquered and held captive. Psalms of Lament are not that uncommon. We do not learn what God wants of us from the Psalms, but we learn what people felt and often feel about their situation in life. The Psalms often provide brutal acts against one’s foes.
Psalm 109 is much like this. It is a Psalm of Lament, of being captive in a strange land, and longing for the death and destruction of enemies. No matter how one feels about the President of the United States, or Senators, or House Members, or anyone else, this is never a Psalm that can, in good conscience, ever be used by anyone to describe what they long to see.
What makes this particular adage blasphemous is it’s abusing God’s Word. It is taking one verse, removing the context, and making it seem like an innocent prayer hoping that Barack Obama loses the next election. It is not that. It never has been. This adage is a blight to all Americans and a disgrace to all whose who profess themselves to be Christians.
Christians have a responsibility to witness for things that are good, holy, and loving. T his kind of witness is something far other than any Christian, in good conscience, could ever utter.