Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Old Testament: Psalm 109 - Please Don't Pray For Me That Way

There's a country song by Jaron and the Long Road to Love ( I can't tell if it's the name of the band or the name of an album). It's called "I Pray For You." Go ahead and watch this. I do have a point somewhere.

And just in case the video doesn't play here's the chorus lyrics.

I pray your brakes go out running down a hill
I pray a flowerpot falls from a window sill and knocks you in the
head like I'd like to
I pray your birthday comes and nobody calls
I pray you're flying high when your engine stalls
I pray all your dreams never come true
Just know wherever you are honey, I pray for you

I have a confession. I like this song. Sure the guy who sings it is cute. Okay really good-looking and I don't see why that girl would break his heart, but that's beside the point. I like the song. I understand the feelings about the song. I've secretly thought this song before the song existed. I think the song is funny. And I feel guilty for liking this song because it seems so sacrilegious. We're not supposed to use prayer this way. At least that's my understanding.

And then today in my quest to read the bible straight through, I was reading Psalm 109. For those of you who don't know, Psalms is a book of David's prayers and songs. So I'm reading David's prayers to God to curse his enemies. He prays that a wicked man will rule over his enemy. He prays that his enemy will be condemned and his prayers will be considered a sin. He prays that he'll die and others will take his place.

But he goes further than that. He isn't happy just praying bad stuff for his enemy. He goes after his enemy's kin. He prays that his enemy's wife will suffer and that his children will be vagabonds. He goes on and on praying to God and cursing the children, the grandchildren, the great great grandchildren, the dog, the house, the people who knew him, the ground he stands on and anything else he can think of.

Basically he's saying

I pray your chariot brakes go out on a hill.
I pray a flowerpot falls off a windowsill and knocks you on the head like I'd like to
I pray your kids hate you and never call
I pray they all die and your wife falls
In love with someone else and dies a horrible death too,
Just know wherever you are I pray for you.

Which makes me feel not so bad about liking this song even though I know it's wrong.

It's no excuse.

We are counseled to pray for our enemies. Frankly I've preferred to sidestep the whole issue and not pray either way about my enemies other than asking that I can overcome whatever garbage they throw my way.

But I do wonder how something so mean spirited made it to the bible, which we're supposed to follow. Not that that's the only thing about the Old Testament that disturbs me. The whole book is disturbing with only a few shards of light which is the opposite of what I thought of it before as a book of light with some dark shadows.

It really is no wonder that most Christians focus in on the New Testament and Mormons on the Book of Mormon. (Not inferring that Mormons aren't Christians, they are).

So now it's back to reading.

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