Pray for Obama–Psalm 109:8

Link to source article as given on the Drudge Report: http://www.kens5.com/news/Secret-Service-looks-into-So-Texas-Pray-for-Obama-sign–168045356.html

Objectors to this sign in Texas gave it all the more publicity. At least they must have noticed the sign, remembered the verse reference, and took the time to look it up.

Psalm 109:8 Let his days be few; and let another take his office.

The verse itself, taken out of context, is not so sinister as the FBI must have thought when they looked up the passage and figured out how to find Psalm 109:8 in a Bible. I guess they found out first-hand that they would not find that verse in the Koran!

The immediate following context in Psalm 109:9 reads:

Psa 109:9 Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.

Surely that was not the prayer wished by the sign’s designer. But if it were, the FBI would surely be justified in showing concern. The sign designer did not take the context into account, only the interesting applicability of the words of verse 8 alone, which surely expresses the desire of many voters come November 6 who sincerely believe the current office holder needs to be replaced before he collapses the entire economy and eviscerates what little is left of our freedoms once guaranteed by our Bill of Rights.

Those freedoms, including the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion, are not given to us by the government but by God.

But all the furor raised over this innocent little sign, of which there was just one, is a most remarkable illustration of one of my pesky 23 Rules of Interpretation to be found in the October 2010 Archives here:

11. Interpret a particular passage in the light of its immediate context, what comes before and after the verse being studied.

The context of Psalm 109:8 involves an imprecatory prayer.

Now that makes for a most interesting Bible study lesson most Christians and readers of the Bible would rather shun. Many would pass off the subject as “Old Testament stuff” which has been superseded by what is taught in the New Testament. They would be very mistaken. Such prayers are to be found in the New Testament too.

And from what the Bible teaches, one never wants to be on the “receiving end” of such prayer. When people are repressed or oppressed and pray for God to provide relief, God hears and answers those prayers.

To verify that in your Bible, follow the cross references carefully as given in either The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge or Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible as given for Exodus 22:23.

That this is still “New Testament stuff” too, follow carefully the cross references given at Romans 12:19.

For a complete rundown on imprecatory prayer in the Bible, check out the complete references for this subject given at Jeremiah 10:25.

I have not heard much lately about the “Presidential Prayer Team,” but I trust they are still alive and well and active in praying constructively for our President.

It is Biblical to pray for our President. The Bible commands us to pray for him. But the President should indeed be in great fear lest he act in a manner that would motivate Bible believing Christians to pray against him.

A better passage to have given reference to at the bottom of that sign would have been 1 Timothy 2:1-4 which reads:

1Ti 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
1Ti 2:2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

But the sign creator didn’t ask me first for a suitable reference, so that is what made the news.

But what I have just posted is better news, and I hope the FBI and the President take careful notice. It would do their souls and their safety a lot of good.

The FBI rightly takes threats against the President most seriously. I know firsthand. One of my students some years ago was thoroughly investigated and subsequently watched for having made some kind of threat against the President then.

Let’s hope and pray that the President and the FBI will now thoroughly watch and investigate the content of this site about Real Bible Study and learn how to study the Bible for themselves. It could change the course of this nation and history for the better for all time to come if they did.

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8 Responses to Pray for Obama–Psalm 109:8

  1. ken sagely says:

    hello jerry i appreciate your post on pres obama and the need to pray for him and the govermental leadership. the scriptures you mentioned i tim 2/1-6 are very helpful to us remember to pray for president. v4 is particularly important “who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. we need to pray for his leadership and that he would come to know jesus christ as his personal saviour. prayer is a very powerful weapon for us as believers. read what james says in vs 5/17-18. vs 17 elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain; and it rained not on the earth not on the earth by the space of 3 yrs and 6 months! i would like to repeat “he prayed” and it didnt rain for 3 1/2 yrs vs 18 and he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit” amazing!! there is power in prayer!

  2. Jerry says:

    Thank you, Ken, for your on-target prompt response to this post about the need for prayer for President Obama.

    I remarked on this site before that I had read that President Obama reads the Bible every night. I commented then, and repeat now, that I hope that news report was true. I have since searched on the Internet and at the time of my search found confirmatory evidence.

    But President Obama and everyone else needs to come to this site and carefully study its content to learn how to do independent, personal Real Bible Study.

    From what I have read, President Obama does not grasp the teaching of the Bible very well. He has said and done many things contrary to the Bible. He needs to learn to do better than this, and fast. God is not playing around when He places both promises and threats in His Word. God carries those out most faithfully, you may be sure. Both the cross references at Romans 12:19 and those at Genesis 6:13 will bear this out. So will the “daily newspaper,” or the Drudge Report on the Internet. Not to mention Psalm 9:17.

    I have placed many good verses worthy of the most careful further study using the cross references I have assembled in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge and in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible in this very post. More people need to come here, take the Bible seriously, and study these verses out using cross reference Bible study. It would change their lives for the better, and give them an altogether better outlook on life and an understanding of what God is doing in the world today.

    One of our literary greats (I seem to recall it was Ezra Pound) wisely said, “Literature is news that stays news.” The Bible is surely the greatest work of literature ever written. It is news that is needful in this hour and is never out-of-date, but always up-to-date!

  3. Brad Heath says:

    AMEN to Jerry and Ken’s post. Prayer – aking and thanking God for involvement in our lives – is so abused because of poor teaching and understanding of God Himself.
    I cannot imagine this BUT it could be worse! Many of the sityations in the OT that come across as people oppressed were becaused God gave people what they ask in prayer.

    Jerry I need your help. I need to understand ‘if’ statements and I have seen all if f184A-D. I have seen some ‘uf ‘ statements saying ‘since’ or ‘when’ in other translations. The NASB says ‘if”. I do not grasp the 1st – 4th conditionals. Not only do I love Real Bible Study usinf the NTSK, I want to understand how and why somany Christian’s misuse and improperly read the ‘if’ statements in Scripture. Your works and blog are wonderful AND you are a English teacher.

    Readers of this post I apologize for doing this BUT I knew Jerry would be reading this soon. I am blind and get frustrated when looking for answers. Please forgive me also for not giving proof text for my comments; they are available.

  4. Jerry says:

    Dear Brad,

    Using The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge to search out the cross references for each different kind of “if” will lead to notes in the New Treasury at some of the specific passages for that kind of “if.” Those notes, when available, are marked by the “n” symbol with or after the reference.

    I simplified the explanation for each of the four classes of “if” when I created my newest book, Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible, but that resource lacks the added notes at individual verses.

    1. The First Condition. 1 Corinthians 15:2. This kind of “if” does not express any doubt regarding the reality, or the assumed reality, of the premise. The conclusion follows logically from that assumption.

    1Co 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

    At 1 Corinthians 15:2, Paul assumes the Corinthians do keep in mind or memory what he has preached, but specifies the consequence if they do not (as by denial of the resurrection). If they do not keep in memory what he has preached, their belief will have been in vain–a very serious matter that involves the loss of salvation once possessed as the cross referenced passages to Luke 8:13 and Galatians 4:11 will verify.

    Mat 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

    Because the “If” in Matthew 4:3 is a First Class or Condition, it expresses no doubt. In many passages for the English reader, the “if” could be understood as “since,” which in English conveys the same idea. But some Greek grammarians might get upset by this simplification, but I think it works fine.

    Col 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

    This is a most important verse. The “If” is the First Class Condition, so Paul is not expressing any doubt on his part that the Colossians are in fact continuing in the faith grounded and settled. But, ask the question, “And if not, what then?” and the answer will be that in such case they will not be presented blameless and “unreprovable in his sight” (Colossians 1:22).

    So it is required that we must continue in the faith; it is an ongoing thing, a lifestyle of continuing belief and obedience.

    2a. The Second Condition involves an assumption contrary to fact in present time, as at Luke 7:39,

    Luk 7:39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.

    This Pharisee has taken in present time in the narrative a rather dim view of Jesus, for the Pharisee does NOT believe that Jesus is a prophet, since apparently Jesus did not know what manner of woman this was that approached him, for she was a sinner. Of course the Pharisee is mistaken, but that is the view the Pharisee took. Notice that being aware of what kind of “if” is used here adds much to our understanding of the narrative.

    This kind of “if” assumes the premise (here, “Jesus is a Prophet”) is contrary to fact, impossible, or unreal, although in actual fact (as here) it may be true.

    2b. The Second Condition involves an assumption contrary to fact in past time, as at Matthew 11:21,

    Mat 11:21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

    Clearly the mighty works Jesus had done in Chorazin and Bethsaida had never been done in Tyre and Sidon in the historic past. But if they had, Jesus states they would have repented in sackcloth and ashes.

    This kind of “if” pertains to what is impossible or contrary to fact, often dealing with past time. Here in Matthew 11:21, it is like saying “for if (but they were not).”

    Other examples of this condition of “if” include:

    Mat 12:7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

    Clearly, Jesus affirms absolutely that they did NOT know what the Scripture he cites means.

    Mat 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

    Mat 24:22 And if those days were not shortened, no flesh would have been saved; but because of the chosen, shall those days be shortened. (Young’s Literal Translation)

    Young’s translation preserves the “if,” and the Second Class Condition reinforces the idea that it is absolutely certain that those days shall be shortened so the elect of that time will be saved during the Great Tribulation. As a most controversial aside, the “elect” specified in Matthew 24:22 have nothing to do with believers of this age, but pertain to Jews who turn to faith in the Messiah, Jesus Christ, during the Great Tribulation, and Gentile believers who do the same, at a time that takes place after the Rapture of believers of this age before the Great Tribulation. Note that I did not make reference to Matthew 24:22 in the cross references for this class of “if” in the New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, but found it after subsequent study, and placed it in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible.

    Well, if I give more information this comment may become too long. I trust the procedure I have used is clearer to you, and that you will be able to study the remaining examples given in the New Treasury without difficulty.

    But please raise more questions if you need further clarification.

  5. Brad Heath says:

    Thanks Brother Jerry.
    Let me see if I understan you by using 1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.

    ‘if they had been of us’ is in the present not the past and it is a fact, those (they) had been believers they would have remained. The fact is they left and they were never believers.

    Is the NCRG going to come out in Logos or some other software? I cannot use paper.
    How do I get to the proper place on this blog to ask these type of questions. I thought you had a general area. I have not been able to find.

    God Bless

  6. Jerry says:

    Dear Brad,

    I do not know of any plans to make the NCRGB available as software.

    I am currently working on a large project to greatly expand the NTSK references which will, the Lord willing and enabling, be made available in software.

    Feel free to raise any question you wish any place on this site you find convenient! My youngest son Dan has now fixed the router so that when anyone posts a comment I am notified. This post of yours was written in the interim when I received no notifications of posts. I only discovered it just now!

  7. charly says:

    Hey there,

    Are you still working on the posts of yours?

    I’ve discovered 26 writing faults.

    Best regards,
    charly

  8. Jerry says:

    Dear Charly,

    Although your post is “spam,” I thought I would, just for fun, reply.

    If you find any errors in my writing, you are welcome to identify them for me. I can use all the help I can get!

    But be sure you know what you are talking about when you do. I took enough English courses in college to equal a triple academic major in English. I took most of my courses in grammar, writing, and linguistics. My high school English teacher at Cass Technical High School for my year of senior English, Mr. Ray, wrote on my pass slip that I was not suitably prepared for college English. So, following his advice that I needed to learn more about it, I took the requisite courses. Now, I suspect, I may know more about English than he did then.

    Thanks for visiting (if you really did). If you take the time to read what I have written here, and learn what I have written, you will be much the wiser for having done so, and wiser at that for all eternity. Do come back and take another but serious look at what is posted here! It will do your soul an eternity of good.

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