A Psalm for Obama: A Response

Thanks to a link from Josh Hale, I read this article from the Christian Science Monitor.  The article talks about a new slogan showing up on bumper stickers and twitter post that reads: Pray for Obama: Ps. 109:8.  While this sounds innocent enough, when one checks the scripture reference, the Psalm reads,

“Let his days be few; and let another take his office.”

When I first saw this, I had to double check to make sure that wasn’t reading The Onion or some other satire site.  But sure enough, it’s a legit story.  Those who are passing along this passage along are using it display their dissaproval to Obama’s presidency and their hope that he only serves one term.    Some people find the passage/reference as funny.  Others find as possibly sinister as the passage could be interpreted (misinterpreted) to express hope that President Obama might serve less than one term.

I find this story troubling- especially if it is perpetuated by Christians.  Here is why.

  1. This passage is taken out of context- Taken out of context, one can make the Bible say just about anything you want.  This is very dangerous.  This Psalm of David a song about one of David’s enemy- asking God to help him even this person is showing him evil.  Is President Obama really an enemey?  There may be some who disagree with his (or any President’s) politics, but does that really make him the enemey, or someone at the opposite end of the table?
  2. Another Example of Christians Being Negative-  It seems, from the article, that there are Christians buying into this passage and bumper sticker.  Why do we, as Christians, always have to be negative?  If we put as much time into praying for President Obama and all our leaders as we do in complaining about them, I believe our nation and leaders would look different because there would be countless people on their knees intercessing on our leaders behalf rather than complaining (which accomplishes nothing). 

We are called to pray for our leaders.  1 Timothy 2:1-2 is pretty clear,

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”

What if we prayed that God would bless President Obama with wisdom rather than just wishing he was out of office? What if we prayed that our Senators and Representatives would truly hear the cries of their consituents rather than blasting them? This would change our entire witness as the Christian church if we lifted our leaders up in prayer rather than gripe and complain.

My hope for the Church is that we surround President Obama and our other local, national, and world leaders in prayer.  In this country, that we engage the issues with intelligent dialogue, seeking understanding and what is best for all people.  We rely on our government officials to act on our behalf- and we need to lift them up that God would grant them wisdom in all that they do.

About Steve LaMotte

Husband and father of three amazing children. Campus Minister of Wesley College in Dover, Delaware. Pastor at Hope United Methodist Church in Dover, Delaware. Elder in the Pen-Del Conference. Fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers. Lover of music that makes hipsters cringe.
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One Response to A Psalm for Obama: A Response

  1. Matt Ralph says:

    I'd be willing to bet there was a bumper sticker just like that when Bush was in office.

    These kinds of displays are immature, short-sighted, counterproductive and distracting. I believe with my whole heart that they make Jesus weep.

    As I did for many of the haters when Bush was in office, I feel sorry for Obama haters who offer little in the way of thoughtful, logical and productive alternatives to the so-called Nazi, fascist, socialist, evil, Anti-Christ etc. behavior they are denouncing.

    Unfortunately, it's probably going to get worse before it gets better, especially if everyone's favorite lightning rod ends up following the Obama script of using a best-selling book to launch a run for president in 2012.

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