The Use of Psalm 109.8 as Anti Obama Reference

Someone emailed me and asked me what I thought of the use of Psalm 109.8 as an Anti-President Obama reference, which is apparently becoming quite trendy among those who disagree with the President.  Here is my reply:

The reference to Psalm 109.8 is a way of voicing disapproval for the presidency of Barak Obama with the idea (wishful thinking) that his presidency would be short lived.  Thus, as Ps 109.8 reads “May his days be few; may another seize his position” (NRSV).
I actually do not like hearing Christians hijack this verse to voice criticism for the President or any President/Leader and here is why (this is not about whether or not one is sympathetic to Democrat, Republican, or else).  When the entire Psalm is read, the Psalmist is speaking of a leader who is committing an outright act illegal act within what appears to be a court of law (v. 6).  People can criticize the President (or any other President) all they want but it seems to be a stretch that he is guilty of illegal actions within the judicial system.  Not only that but whatever criticisms can be thrown at one President, the same can be thrown at every one of his predecessors too.
But the bigger reason I don’t like hearing Christians reference this passage is that the passage goes on to say in v. 9 and 12 “May his children be orphans and his wife a widow…May there be no one to do him a kindness nor anyone to pity his orphaned children.”  I know that is in the Bible and I presently am not sure what to think about it (being faithful does not mean we must like everything written in scripture) but I am quite sure that it would be a terrible, terrible day if the wife and children of the President were left as a widow and orphans.
I would also like to add that for Christians who are engaged in this, there is NOTHING that is good for the sake of the kingdom of God and the mission that God is about in this world.  Such talk DOES NOT honor the gospel of Jesus Christ NOR DOES IT demonstrate a life that has been made new in Christ and is led by the Holy Spirit.  It doesn’t matter who the President or Leader is, what his/her politics are, and so forth… stuff like this only does harm.
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27 responses to “The Use of Psalm 109.8 as Anti Obama Reference

  1. expecting to receive it soon
    from a certain Christian lady i know, i may just hit reply and send your response.

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention The Use of Psalm 109.8 as Anti Obama Reference « Kingdom Seeking -- Topsy.com

  3. Thanks for writing this, Rex. I’m appalled that anyone would pray for the death of our president–and use Scripture to justify it! I’m with you: I don’t know what to think about this psalm, but I’m sure God’s purpose in it is not to encourage us to damn our political opponents. That doesn’t jive with what we know about God’s nature from other sources.

    • Regarding your response to the use of Psalm 109.8. God is a loving and merciful God as you would certainly agree. He is also a just God and will not allow rampant sin toontinue forever. If you think this Psalm doesn’t jive with what we know about God, you need to read the Bible more closely. God Wiped out Sodom and Gomorrah for the sin of homosexuality, killing everyone in the area! What do you think about that? And how about Ananias and Sapphira as seen in Acts 5. They lied to God and fell down dead! Don’t try to put God into your little box. He is loving, kind full of mercy, long suffering toward us His children. He will judge those who deceive and harm others and remove those who are hinderances to His cause.

      • Dick,

        As I recall, it was Job’s friends who insisted on painting God into a box that made Job a sinner (since surely suffering was a sign of one’s sinful behavior) and it was God who rebuked them for such a notion while never explain to Job or anyone else why suffering occurs. So yes, God does punish bad behavior but what makes you so convinced that the examples of you cite (especially Ananias & Sapphira) the norm of God’s ways and not the abnormal? Either way, to use such examples to justify ripping Psalm 109.8 out of it’s context so it can serve a particular political agenda seems not only unfaithful to the biblical text but also very far from God forgiving his persecutors as he was dying on the cross.

        Grace and Peace,

        Rex

  4. The whole world has lost it’s sense of humor! We have lost our ability to laugh at ourselves. I’m sure no one wishes misfortune upon the President, but many simply wish him gone. Lighten up a little bit!

  5. Jim and Nicky, In no way can one read this and find humor in it…so what in the world are you talking about?
    Did you find it funny? If so, that says a lot about you as a person and about where you stand politically.

  6. Humor is good in the proper place. Reality is reality and at this time we live in a unpredictable world with unpredictable people. No one can deny that there are unstable people in this country. Fanatics who, upon reading this passage, will see it as a sign that God is talking to them and telling them to kill the President. In the last 50 years we have had one president and one presidential candidate assasinated and attempts on 2 other Presidents. If you don’t like or agree with someone, don’t vote for them. That’s the American way. But to joke about the death of a person, any person, is just irresponsible in todays volatile world.

  7. I agree with Jim. More people do need a sense of humor. I received the 109 reference. I took it as it was meant, from someone going through a hard time & turning to humor to deal with it. I am sure they did not mean death upon the man. Just that he was out of office. When mankind & Christians lose their sense of humor they lose one of the leading ways to deal with a bad day. When one is laughing it is hard to be sad. God is a loving & forgiving God but he has also shown his wrath at times. I’m quite sure the president has a sense of humor as he has shown. If I were him & someone posted this about me, I would literally be rolling with laughter. You can’t please all of the people all of the time. There will always be someone who doesn’t like you for whatever reason. All you can do it take it with a grain of salt. That is about as large as you should make it because in the grand scheme of things others opinions do not matter. Truth is all that matters. We all know our own successes, short comings & sins. I find it hard to believe God is going to concern himself with a bumper sticker.

  8. God please protect me from your “Christians”. You people are nuts!!

  9. It said 109.8. There was a reason why it referred to 109.8 and not just 109. If you want to add v. 9 and 12 “May his children be orphans and his wife a widow…May there be no one to do him a kindness nor anyone to pity his orphaned children,” you are the one implying the death of a person. You took something funny and made it not funny.

  10. Quite frankly, he has commited sins, he has done illegal acts, and he is a detriment to our society, so I believe that psalm 109.8 is right on the mark. He has been the most deceitful President we have ever had. Change? I hope we never see his sort of change again. Our Freedoms are being lost and next we will not have the freedom to even write on this page.

    • Norma,

      I’m not defending President Obama but the accusations you make against of doing illegal acts, being a detriment to the American society, being deceitful… They are all accusations that could be made against former President George W. Bush as well as other Presidents. But as a Christian, freedom is found in Jesus Christ and does not depend on the American nation therefore we have nothing to fear because such freedom can never be taken from us.

      Thanks for your comment.

    • first of all the president does not and has never had the power to take any of your freedoms away from you, so enough with the nonsense. this is why we call him our president and not our king or dictator.
      secondly he has not committed illegal acts or he would be held accountable, such as president clinton was.
      and he has not been deceitful, just stop watching fox news so much and listen to what he really says before they edit everything for tv.
      not to mention that he has no power to pass any legislation WHAT SO EVER, only CONGRESS DOES.
      so if you’re upset with the way things are going talk to your congressman because he is part of the body of people who actually passes the laws, not the president.

  11. Thank you, Rex, for writing this. I too, believe that even out of context, even in a joking manner, to use this reference against President Obama OR ANY ONE IN AUTHORITY is wrong, and yes, dangerous. Even in a joking manner, it goes against everything Christ taught us. I was told to “lighten up” when I pointed out that this verse was actually a curse, and should never be used, even in jest.

    I would say to those who think this is funny, “How do you justify this? Jesus told us, “Blessing and cursing cannot come out of the same mouth.” “Treat other people in the same way you want to be treated.”

    As for those who say Obama is evil, I direct you to what Paul writes in Romans: “
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” Read that chapter for some eye-opening teaching.

    Finally, one last scripture from our Lord: “I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

    That’s why this “Pray for Obama” campaign is dangerous.

  12. Well first off your claim that Obama has done nothing illegal is a little off. There is a decent amount of contention, and there should be more, that at least some of his bills (including parts of his healthcare act) are unconstitutional. That’s not even including the use of drones to kill US citizens without a trial and NDAA which allows the government to permanently detain citizens suspected of “terrorist activities” without a trial either. those both fly in the face of the Bill of Rights.

    Also in reference to the rest of the story that mentions the death of said leader, there is a reason people only quote the first verse. They don’t want to wish death on him, they only wish for him to lose power. Simply quoting 1 verse of the Bible does not imply you mean anything from the rest of it.

  13. Steve Cariati

    Stop getting all Biblical! This is simply meant as the first few words and in no way relates to widows and orphans unless taken literally. Lighten up.

  14. You give reference to your thoughts of “the  Psalmist is speaking of a leader who is committing an outright act illegal act within what appears to be a court of law (v. 6).” Isn’t what Obama is doing by not allowing his birth certificate released and referring to himself as “the One” when Christ is the ONLY true “One” an illegal act according to what the Bible states ? Taken in context of the Bible, Obama has taken he road of what the “anti-Christ” is set to do by being a deceiver of man which his smooth talking has done with those whom are continuing to support him. ?

  15. In “No WAY” does Psalm 109:8 refer to killing president Obama !!! It simply refers to “removing him from office” or, NOT electing him for a second term !! You give reference to your thoughts of “the  Psalmist is speaking of a leader who is committing an outright act illegal act within what appears to be a court of law (v. 6).” Isn’t what Obama is doing by not allowing his birth certificate released and referring to himself as “the One” when Chris is the ONLY true “One” an illegal act according to what the Bible states ? Taken in context of the Bible, Obama has taken the road of what the “anti-Christ” is set to do by being a “deceiver of man” which his smooth talking has done with those whom are continuing to support him. ? Apparently someone hasn’t read everything available !! Better to be thought a fool then to open your mouth and remove the doubt !!!

  16. WOW, WOW…WOW………WOW!!! Is this how Christians think? It’s no wonder we are getting closer to the end of time!!! God must have known this distortion of his word whould take place. Christians using his word as their source of humor!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?

  17. so tell me… would it still be humor if someone pulled a similar piece of text from the Quran and slapped it on a bumper sticker? sent it out in emails? WOULDN’T THAT JUST BE SOOOO FUNNY!!! Oh My! YEA!!!

    No, because then it would be a muslim act of terrorism, correct? so why as Christians do we think we are so much better and more righteous to say such non-sense????

    ITS NOT EVEN A JOKE! WHY DO YOU THINK IT WAS MEANT TO BE FUNNY? OR WHY IT SHOULD BE FUNNY? It doesn’t start out knock knock, who’s there? DOES IT??? so why are we defending this by saying you should have a sense of humor when its not even a joke? It wouldn’t even be funny had I heard it in a stand up comedy act, it just isn’t a joke. ITS PLAIN AND SIMPLE POLITICAL PROPAGANDA!!! SEE IT FOR WHAT IT IS!

    Really people? this is how extremism starts. if i recall correctly there was a Christian extremist take part in an act of terrorism just last year in I believe Norway or Sweden if my memory of the news serves me correctly. Stop acting like we as Christianity doesn’t have people who misunderstand the message and act out as an extremist. Stop acting like we’re better than everyone else because we’re not. Jesus didn’t act like that. He took whores by the hand and guided them to a better path/life.
    AND if i recall correctly, THE MEDIA LABELED HIM MUSLIM INITIALLY! then something like a day later they realized their mistake.

    Is this really how we behave as Christians??? Wishing bad things on others? I don’t agree with everything the President has said or done, but he hasn’t done illegal things. Check your facts. Lose the propaganda.
    The health care bill is a MILE long and there is ONLY ONE thing that people don’t like: the individual mandate for insurance.
    Can’t reject people for preexisting conditions = good thing
    can’t cancel coverage on people for developing conditions = good thing
    the individual mandate was a compromise with the insurance companies because in order to absorb those extra costs, it was necessary to spread it out over a larger pool of customers.
    claiming that :
    NDAA which allows the government to permanently detain citizens suspected of “terrorist activities” without a trial either.
    is crazy
    IT WAS GEORGE BUSH THAT PASSED ALL THOSE ANTI-TERROR LAWS!!! those have been in place for a DECADE!
    and wishing him to lose power? WHAT POWER? THE PRESIDENT HAS NO POWER! other than the POWER OF SUGGESTION…..
    CONGRESS HAS ALL THE POWER! which by the way has been Republican controlled for half of Obama’s presidency.
    Congress MAKES LAWS. LAWS WHICH = POLICY. the president just suggests a path and its up to congress to act.
    the Constitution gave Congress the MOST POWER on purpose. Because there are A LOT of people who serve in it and that power would NOT be assumed by ONE PERSON. EX. NOT A KING.
    So get mad at your local congressman if you’re not happy with the way things are going and start voicing your opinion there.

    REALLY??? This is why those who aren’t religious don’t seek religion, its because they think we are all out of our mind, nuts. Just as a couple people posted above. We sound crazy saying things like this. Get your head on straight. Put things into perspective. Enough Propaganda! as a Nation we should be more educated than this!

    If this was Muslim text people would be reaching for their shotguns and starting a war. What makes you so much better? NOTHING!
    Jesus taught compassion and forgiveness and understanding, which with this text taken out of context and used in this manner shows none of the above.
    Thank you Rex for doing a great job of explaining the problem with using God’s word in this manner.
    However, some of these comments make me ashamed to share in the same faith as you.

    • TK, thanks so much I feel exactly the same way. In this voting/election process I have been embarrassed to call myself a Christian. I wish as followers of Christ we spent this much time, energy and passion loving others and making disciples. It is frustrating and so ugly and self righteous. Again, thanks for your post.

  18. DID YOU KNOW THIS, PSALMS 109 IS THE 1776TH CHAPTER IN THE AKJ BIBLE? PSALMS IS THE 19TH BOOK REPRESENTING THE 1900’S
    IT HAS 150 CHAPTERS, SO WHEN YOU ARE IN THE 100 CHAPTER IN PSALMS, YOU ARE IN THE 2000’S. SO WHEN OBAMA TOOK “OFFICE”. IN 2009 YOU ARE IN PSALM 109, GET IT? 1776 IN ROMAN IS ON EVERY ONE DOLLAR BILL, MDCCLXXVI ( M-DC-C-LX- X-VI)
    ( DC=600 )
    ( LX=60 )
    ( VI=6 )
    ;WHATS LEFT OVER 1110 ( M C X )

  19. SO WHEN , OPHRA SAID, “IS HE THE “ONE”. WHAT DID SHE MEAN?

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