Touch Not Mine Anointed

“Do not touch my anointed ones, and do my prophets no harm.” – Psalm 105:15[1]

Divine-Law-before-Moses ten-commandmentsMany preachers, usually of the TBN variety, like to apply this verse to themselves. Because they call themselves “anointed prophets,” detractors and victims supposedly cannot accuse or bring charges against these preachers of greed, tax evasion, deception, lying, abuse, etc. As a result, some probably pray for God to strike their detractors and victims with leprosy or an earthquake, as he did with Miriam and Korah when they spoke against Moses (Numbers 12:1-10, 16:23-33). But they are wrong.

First, no one is above the law. God always punishes people who presume to speak a word in his name (Jeremiah 23:25-40). He also punishes servants – prophets, priests, and kings – who sin against him (1 Samuel 2:12-17, 27-36, 3:11-14, 4:1-22; 2 Samuel 12:1-12, 24:1-16, 1 Kings 13:20-26, 2 Kings 20:12-18, 2 Chronicles 35:20-24, Matthew 24:48-51). Moses was no exception (Numbers 20:7-12). All teachers will “receive a stricter judgment” (James 3:1). Some sins are also crimes, for which the guilty must be arrested and tried like everyone else. Those who sin against God should still fear divine judgment, whether or not they receive just punishment for their crimes.

Second, truly anointed prophets are filled with the Holy Spirit. They obey the law written on their hearts through the Spirit. Such prophets will not blatantly commit sins or crimes. So they bear little resemblance to many popular preachers today. Spiritual fruit is what matters, not the titles preachers choose to give themselves or the offices they presume to fill.

Finally, when read in context, the 15th verse of the 105th psalm applies only to three people – the patriarchs. God made a covenant with Abraham and an oath with Isaac in verse 9, and confirmed the covenant with Jacob in verse 10. When these three men “went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people, he permitted no one to do them wrong. Yes, he rebuked kings for their sakes” (Psalm 105:13-14). God plagued the house of Pharaoh and threatened to kill Abimelech of Gerar after they took Abraham’s wife Sarah into their homes (Genesis 12:17, 20:3). God also led Abimelech to make a covenant with Isaac after he saw that the Lord was with him, even though he was deceived about Rebekah (26:28-31). And although Laban deceived Jacob about Rachel and “changed [his] wages ten times … God did not allow him to hurt” Jacob (29:23-25, 31:7). After he left, God told Laban in a dream to “speak to Jacob neither good nor bad” (31:24). So Laban made a covenant with his son-in-law (31:44-55). God warned all these men, “Do not touch my anointed ones, and do my prophets no harm” (Psalm 105:15).

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were certainly anointed prophets. Abraham prayed for Abimelech (Genesis 20:7, 17-18). Isaac also “blessed” his sons “concerning things to come” (27:27-40, 28:3-4; Hebrews 11:20). Finally, Jacob renamed his youngest son Benjamin, blessed Joseph’s two sons as he lay dying, and prophesied over his twelve sons concerning “the last days” (Genesis 35:18, 48:15-20, 49:1-27, Hebrews 11:21).

However, some preachers and teachers today ignore both the patriarchs’ prophetic anointing and God’s warning. Instead of great men of faith, they see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as hard-hearted and sinful Christians. They try to paint these people in their own flawed image. Such portraits could not be further from the truth.

abraham sacrifice Isaac Caravaggio.jpgWas Abraham wrong to listen to Sarah and take Hagar as his mistress, in order to bear a child (Genesis 16:1-3)? Was he wrong not to seek Lot after God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah (19:27-29)? Was Abraham wrong to tell Abimelech that Sarah was his sister (20:2)? God never held these things against him. He also punished Abimelech rather than Abraham for the partial lie (20:3, 7, 17-18). So who are we to lay blame at this faithful man’s feet? By faith, Abraham left Ur of the Chaldees, dwelt in Canaan, and offered Isaac to God (Hebrews 11:8-19).

Was Isaac wrong to prefer Esau and prepare to bless him (Genesis 25:28, 27:1-4)? Was he wrong to tell Abimelech that Rebekah was his sister (26:7)? Again, God never held these things against Isaac. Instead, he blessed him and made him prosper in the land of the Philistines (26:12-14). “By faith, Isaac blessed” his sons “concerning things to come” (Hebrews 11:20).

jacob and esauWas Jacob wrong to buy Esau’s birthright (Genesis 25:31-34)? Was he wrong to deceive his father and take Esau’s blessing (27:15-30)? God told Israel, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated” (Malachi 1:2-3). Unbelievers see a deceiver and supplanter; believers with spiritual eyes see a man of faith (Genesis 25:26, 27:36; cf 1 Corinthians 2:10-16). Profane and lazy Esau despised his birthright, but he could not receive the blessing without it (Hebrews 12:16-17). Jacob, however, valued the birthright, an act of righteousness that led God to reveal himself in the desert (Genesis 28:11-19). Later wrestling with God, Jacob said, “I will not let you go until you bless me” (32:36). The apostle Paul understood. He told the church in Corinth, “Run in such a way that you may obtain” the prize of an “imperishable crown” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25). Paul also told the church in Philippi, “I press on that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me” (3:12). We should all have Jacob’s faith.

God punishes servants who sin against him, yet he never punished the patriarchs for anything they said or did. If God is for them, who can be against them (Romans 8:31)? Who dares to “bring a charge against God’s elect” (8:33)? May we all say of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, “Do not touch my anointed ones, and do my prophets no harm” (Psalm 105:15).

__________

[1] NKJV, unless otherwise noted

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3 thoughts on “Touch Not Mine Anointed

  1. Pingback: Handling the Word Deceitfully (Part 7) | Morning Light

  2. Pingback: Handling the Word Deceitfully (Part 17) | Morning Light

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