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    Around November 23, 2009 I received several cop­ies of an e-mail that was apparently very popular and supposed to be backhandedly humorous. It was entitled:  Pray for the President with the President in question being Barack H. Obama. And inside the e-mail read: Pray for the President. Psalm 109:8-9. So far so good until I looked up the text in question—in the Bible:
    8 "May his days be few; may another take his office!  9 May his children be fatherless & his wife a widow!"
    It has now come to my attention that some person no doubt claiming to be a "Christian" of some sort has posted a billboard proclaiming the same message on Navarro Street just north of the intersection with Sam Houston Drive.  I find this unChristian and reprehensible. And let me tell you why.

    This is a major league revenge op­tion that David wants God to deploy against some unnamed person. However, this in the Old Testament and Christians are supposed to live in the dispensation of the New Testament. So it is important for us to see what the New Testament tells us about how to deal with those we consider our enemies. 
    Let's begin in:

Matthew 5:43-45, 48 ""You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor & hate your enemy.' 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies & pray for those who perse­cute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil & on the good, & sends rain on the just & on the un­just. 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."" This is pretty plain but He gives the principle behind this love in: Matthew 22:36-40 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" 37 And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart & with all your soul & with all your mind. 38 This is the great & first com­mandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two com­mandments depend all the Law & the Prophets."" Jesus gives us another principle concerning love that while aimed at us also applies to our enemies. John 13:34-35 ""A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."" And as he so very good at doing, Paul condenses & explains how a Believer is supposed to behave toward those whom we consider to be our en­emies: Romans 12:14, 17-21 "Bless those who persecute you; bless & do not curse them....17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." 20 To the contrary, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Again we are commanded to act in love and blessing—NOT REVENGE OR ANGER. That we are told is to be left to God. We could go on in this vein ad infinitum but we won't.

    SO WHAT?
    What is clear is that we are not to behave like David—praying for the destruction of our enemies because we live under a different covenant. if we claim to be a Christian. Jesus & Paul are both very clear that we are to bless our enemies—both those who have made themselves that & those we consider to be so. And He doesn't leave us any wiggle room. So this is an awkward situation when we claim to be CHRISTIANS & decide that we CAN'T obey Christ. It is awkward because we have decided that we know better than Jesus about how to treat others and who deserves to be loved and who doesn't. When we do this we at the very least cease to behave as Christians and at worst possibly reveal ourselves to not be Christians at all.

    Bottom line: This billboard is hate speech. The person or persons unknown who bought the billboard space don't need to worry about what I do or don't think or say, they need to worry about the wrath of God being poured out unmixed upon them for their hatred.  And they need to understand that God does not hate Barack Obama, for God Himself placed him in office as President of the United States.

    So whatever one thinks about President Obama—love him, hate don't care one way or the other, he is PRESIDENT Obama, & we need to pray for him—NOT that he will die & leave his children orphans & Michelle a widow, but rather that he will be guided by God. This is Paul's point in:

1 Timothy 2:1-4 "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, pray­ers, intercessions, & thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings & all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful & quiet life, godly & dignified in every way. 3 This is good, & it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved & to come to the know­ledge of the truth." Our prayers should always be directed to­ward the expansion of the God's Kingdom & the benefit of others. Praying for the death of others does not meet that criteria. So rather than being unChristian and praying for him to die and his wife and children to suffer, let us pray that God will make Proverbs 21:1 true for our president: "The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will." My prayer is that the person or persons unknown who erected this billboard will repent and take it down, not because I said so, but because God said so.