When speaking to the National Prayer Breakfast last week, President Obama quoted from the very familiar passage of Scripture, Isaiah 40:31. The President said:
those who wait on the Lord will soar on wings like eagles, and they will run and not be weary, and they will walk and not faint.
Some Biblical scholar, and I use that term lightly at The Fox Nation said: President Obama misquoted a familiar Bible verse during a faith-based address at the National Prayer Breakfast.
Um, no, he didn’t. If anything there may be a blending of translations, but there’s no misquote.
From the New International Version:
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
From the King James Version:
But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
Look, there are very few areas of public policy where I stand in agreement with the President. But I refuse to be one to criticize him for every move he makes. Especially when that criticism makes me look petty and stupid. This Fox Biblical “scholar” needs to go back to Sunday school.
Where there are areas of agreement, we need to agree, even if the person is our traditional adversary. And while I adamantly believe that people of faith should be involved in the public debate, some of our brethren need to return to their home congregations to argue about the color of the carpet. That’s likely been the subject of more debates and church splits than the interpretation of Biblical doctrine.
I started to blog on the President’s remarks earlier this week when I heard conservatives snarking about this statement:
As I travel across the country folks often ask me what is it that I pray for. And like most of you, my prayers sometimes are general: Lord, give me the strength to meet the challenges of my office. Sometimes they’re specific: Lord, give me patience as I watch Malia go to her first dance — where there will be boys. Lord, have that skirt get longer as she travels to that dance.
That’s an hysterically brillant statement. And one with which most fathers worldwide could agree.
But to some one the conservative side it was an exploitation of his daughter for a political statement.
Oh. Good. Grief.
I am reminded of another Scripture reference:
Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.
James 3:5, New International Version
While the theologicans at The Fox Nation might disagree, I believe we could replace the word “tongue” with “keyboard.”
James goes on to say:
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
The full text of the President’s remarks at The National Prayer Breakfast can be found here.