Psalm 109:8 the Wrong Prayer for Obama

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Today, while reading comments on a news article, I ran across this: “Pray for Obama—Psalm 109:8.” Looking up the passage, I read: “May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership.” Okay, I thought; someone is praying for his removal from presidential office, probably when his term expires. But the following verses sound far more sinister:

[8] May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership.

[9] May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.

[10] May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes.

[11] May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.

[12] May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children.

[13] May his descendants be cut off, their names blotted out from the next generation.

Psalm 109:8–13, New International Version

Ouch! Somebody really has it in for this guy! Targeting the President for such treatment shows a great deal of hatred—probably not how God intended for His Word to be used, don’t you think? I Googled the passage and found a slew of articles and references on it. Many were strongly slanted and opinionated; most condemned such use of Scripture. I learned that it has been seen across the country on bumper stickers, T-shirts, and other items.

Some websites have stopped selling Psalm 109:8 items because of how this passage is used and how it looks like hatred:

Wishing death upon someone in power is obviously nothing new, even in our nation, but recently it seems to be gaining popularity:

While prayers of death wishes are totally out of the picture for most of us, I would instead recommend that we pray for President Obama, and all of our government leaders, that they learn to make wise decisions to benefit the country and ultimately the world. I am well aware that wise decisions are more the exception than the rule in today’s USA (I will address some of this in the next post), and that is all the more reason to pray for them. Contrast the following Scripture with the one quoted above; I will close the article with this.

[1] I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—

[2] for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

1 Timothy 2:1–2, New International Version