“Touch Not The Lords Anointed”
That quote is from the late Chuck Smith in regard to questions he didn’t appreciate from a Christianity Today reporter.
As I was an adviser on that story, he was indirectly addressing me as well.
That verse has been used by Smith and multitudes of other leaders in the church to to deflect hard questions and honest inquiry with the implication being that the inquirer was invoking the wrath of God on themselves for asking.
Does that verse mean that God stands like a junkyard dog behind His leaders, willing and eager to smash any who cross them?
No…and those who use it that way are using the word of God in such a way as to bring holy discipline on themselves.
Let’s look at the passage in context and see what it is saying.
It’s found in two places… 1 Chronicles 16: 22 and Psalm 105: 15.
“When they were few in number, of little account, and sojourners in it, wandering from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people, he allowed no one to oppress them; he rebuked kings on their account, saying, “Touch not my anointed ones, do my prophets no harm!””(Psalms 105:12-15 ESV)
“When you were few in number, of little account, and sojourners in it, wandering from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people, he allowed no one to oppress them; he rebuked kings on their account, saying, “Touch not my anointed ones, do my prophets no harm!””(1 Chronicles 16:19-22 ESV)
First, note what these passages are…they are part of songs of thanksgiving for what God had done, not dire warnings to those who question authority.
They are remembrances that as the people of Israel had passed through hostile lands the Lord had protected them and delivered them from harm by warning other kings to ‘touch not his anointed”…His people…all of them.
Second, these songs of praise would have been sung by the whole congregation, not just at a “pastors conference”.
The “Lord’s anointed” designation applied to the whole assembly and in later years would be sung by a people who had no king at all to encourage themselves in the faithfulness of God.
Calvin: “The Psalmist proceeds farther, affirming, that when God made war against kings for the sake of his servants, they were defended by him, not only as he is accustomed to succour the miserable and the unjustly oppressed, but because he had taken them under his special guardianship. God protects his people, not only upon a general ground, but because he has declared on account of his free adoption, that he will maintain them. This is the reason why these holy patriarchs are here honoured with two designations, his prophets and his anointed ones. In speaking of other men, God would have said, Touch not these men who have done wrong to nobody, hurt not these poor wretched creatures who have deserved no such treatment at your hands. But in the person of Abraham and his children, he shows that there was another reason for his defending them. He calls them anointed ones, because he had set them apart to be his peculiar people. In the same sense, he designates them prophets, (a title with which Abraham is also honoured, Gen. 20:7,) not only because God had manifested himself more intimately to them, but also because they faithfully spread around them divine truth, that the memory of it might survive them, and flourish after their death. Anointing, it is true, was not as yet in use, as it was afterwards under the law; but the prophet teaches, that what God at a subsequent period exhibited in the ceremonies of the law was really and in very deed in Abraham, even as God engraves the mark of sanctification on all his chosen ones. If God’s inward anointing was of such powerful efficacy, even at the time when he had not yet appointed, or delivered the figures of the law, with how much greater care will he defend his servants now, after having exhibited to us the plenitude of anointing in his only begotten Son!”
If you are in Christ you are the “Lords anointed”.
“For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”(2 Corinthians 1:20-22 ESV)
“But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life. write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.” (1 John 2:19-27 ESV)
The passage in question is not an implied threat against questioning religious authority or leadership.
It is not a sword for insecure leaders to wield against those who dare question them.
It is a song of Gods care for all His people when they are weak and few in number and in hostile territory.
Make your own application…