(It’s a little Long today, but please bear with me).
1 Samuel 24:6: “And he said to his men, ‘The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the LORD’s anointed , to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD.’” (NKJV)
1 Samuel 26:9: “But David said to Abishai, ‘Do not destroy him; for who can stretch out his hand against the LORD’s anointed , and be guiltless?’” (NKJV)
1 Chronicles 16:22: “…’Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm.” (NKJV)
The process whereby Scripture is properly interpreted is called “exegesis.” And, there are a few rules for properly interpreting Scripture.
1. The Law of Usage. How is the word used elsewhere in the particular book of the Bible you are reading, and throughout the Bible.
2. The Law of Context. How is the particular word used in comparison with the verses before and after it.
Also, it is important to remember the historical Christian interpretation of the word and it’s usage in a particular passage, book, and throughout the Bible. This is called the “Orthodox” use of the word.
Now all three of these verses above have come to mean that you must never speak out against a man of God; that you should never question his doctrine, his teaching, his lifestyle, his ministry. But this is certainly not orthodox, nor is it proper exegesis. In fact, it violates both the Law of Usage and the Law of Context.
In all three cases it has to do with causing physical harm to those who have the “anointing” of God upon their lives. Now we must remember that in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon only a few that God has chosen (as opposed to the Holy Spirit being poured out at Pentecost upon “all flesh”, i.e., all who believe in Jesus Christ).
In 1 Samuel 26:9, King Saul has been pursuing David (who had been anointed King by Samuel at the command of God as the next King over Israel). David was hiding in a cave, and Saul came in to “attend to his needs.” David was encouraged by his men to kill King Saul, so David cut off the corner of Saul’s robe. Afterward, David was convicted and said, ‘‘The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the LORD’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD.’ So David restrained his servants with these words, and did not allow them to rise against Saul.” (NKJV).
In 1 Samuel 26:9, David and his men come upon the camp of Saul and they were sleeping. David asked his men, who would go down with him to the camp? Abashi agreed and they went down to Saul’s camp. “Then Abishai said to David, ‘God has delivered your enemy into your hand this day. Now therefore, please, let me strike him at once with the spear, right to the earth; and I will not have to strike him a second time!’ But David said to Abishai, ‘Do not destroy him; for who can stretch out his hand against the LORD’s anointed, and be guiltless?’” So, once again, David was not willing to used violence against one whom God had anointed.
1 Chronicles 16:8-36 is called David’s song of thanksgiving. In it he is singing about the faithfulness of the Lord in leading the Children of Israel into the promised land. The Lord had kept his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, just as He said He would. So David sings this glorious song of praise to God.
In his song, he sings, “When they went from one nation to another, And from one kingdom to another people, He permitted no man to do them wrong; Yes, He rebuked kings for their sakes, Saying, ‘Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm.’” (I Chronicles 16:20-22, NKJV).
The context here is the Lord’s protection from physical harm. God kept the Kings of the Lands of the Nations they passed through to get to the promised land from causing them physical harm.
Now, in light of the Context and Usage of these Scriptures, any man who uses these passages to try to influence people from questioning his doctrine, his teaching, his lifestyle, his ministry, is handling the Word of God in a deceitful manner (2 Corinthians 4:2).
There is no reason why you cannot question the teaching of your pastor or any pastor if you believe it is not correct. As believers, we have an obligation to check things out for ourselves, just as the Bereans in Acts 17:11: “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” (NKJV).
There are many men in the “ministry” today that are embracing heresy. New Age Mysticism has been brought into the church in the form of Universalism, Contemplative Prayer, and Mystic teachings that are indirect opposition to the Word of God and orthodox teaching. You are right to question these teachings; however, for many it has come at a price.
Many “pastors” in our day are desperately trying to gain a following. The larger, the better. They have looked around at others and have determined to follow their “formula for success.” Sadly, this has almost always involved a compromising of the Gospel.
Why do men what this “success?” PRIDE. In the fallen nature of men is this overwhelming drive for approval. If you have a large following, a radio and television program, have written several books (hopefully even a “best seller”), then you are hailed as being “used of God.” In reality, none of these things mean that you age being used of God. These are the standards by which men judge success, not God.
Most the men used by God had little to no “success.” Consider Isaiah, who prophesied to a dying nation. His ministry could hardly be called a “success” by the standards of men. Jeremiah, who not only warned Israel about the impending judgment, but also told them how to survive captivity (by surrendering to Babylon). Most refused to listen and perished. The approval of men is never a standard by which success can be judged. What matters is God’s approval. And if large crowds are a the standard of success, then the Mormon “church” is the most successful “church” in America.
As I said earlier, questioning has come at a price. You have been told that you are “uncooperative;” “unteachable;” “listening to Satan;” “having a spirit of rebellion;” and driven from the church you called home because you dared question. Some of you have been chastised from pulpits and slandered all while these “pastors” declare, “Touch not God’s anointed!”
Your not alone. I have been told that I am a “dinosaur” because I refuse to embrace the “new spirituality.” So be it. I would rather stand alone with God than stand with the crowd without God. My comfort is in knowing that what I believe and teach is what Jesus Christ declared and what Paul the Apostle (and others) taught; what the church has believed for more than 2,000 years. If that puts me “out of touch” then I am guilty as charged.
Take comfort, dear saint, if you have stood for the truth of the Word. There are many others who have as well.