13 November 2010

"Touch Not My Anointed"

A couple of months ago, I received an email from a reader who was very upset with my June 30 posting, Strange Encounters of the Jesus Kind. This post contained an article by Pastor Larry DeBruyn which questioned (rightfully) the validity of modern-day claims of visions of Jesus Christ. This particular reader took issue especially with what she perceived to be an attack on the late Oral Roberts, who she believes to have been a biblically solid teacher. Her main argument and warning to me was that I should heed the Bible's warning to "touch not God's anointed." The use of this verse (or rather, half-verse) has always intrigued me. It seems to be used as an "easy out" when people want you to stop exposing the truth about a false teacher or teaching. I was confronted with this verse again today and, though I'll admit my focus was a bit shaky at the time (more on that later), I am certain that it was once again misused and plucked from its context. That caused me to search my email archives for my response to this particular reader, and to share with you the presentation I offered as to why the use of "touch not mine anointed" is not a particularly effective argument just because you think someone said something mean about someone who you happen to like. The following is taken directly from my response to this reader with minor modifications for the sake of confidentiality and clarity:
In your note you also urged me to "touch not my anointed ones," a common quote from Scripture that is used especially by the Word-Faith crowd to silence their critics. The problem with using this half-verse is that it is taken out of context. This phrase appears in both 1 Chronicles 16:22 and Psalm 105:15. If you review the context of these verses, you can see clearly that the "anointed ones" that are spoken of are actually the offspring of Abraham--Israel. These passages speak of God's care, provision, and protection of His children Israel. In fact, I was just reading this sermon of John MacArthur's regarding God's promises to Israel in which he says,
"Now to further understand this thought, look with me to Psalm 105...Psalm 105 verse 8. And here we have a whole psalm speaking about God's covenant relationship to Israel. And just picking it up in verse 8, "He hath remembered His covenant forever...that is His promise made with Israel...the word which He commanded to a thousand generations which covenant He made with Abraham and His oath unto Isaac and confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law and to Israel for an everlasting covenant." So Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, all of those people had the covenant repeated, "Which covenant was made to the nation as an everlasting covenant, saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan the lot of your inheritance. When they were but a few men in number, yea very few and sojourners in it, when they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people, He permitted no man to do them wrong, yea He reproved kings for their sake saying, Touch not Mine anointed and do My prophets no harm."
Now what the psalmist is saying is that when God called out Israel and established a covenant with them, He built into that covenant protection against Israel's injury and ultimate harm so that they would not be wiped out, so that He could fulfill ultimately His promise to them. So Israel then is said to be the apple of His eye, is said to be His special anointed, "Touch not Mine anointed."
Let me draw you to another passage in Deuteronomy chapter 28. And this gives us even another insight into God's relationship to this nation Israel. And in the chapter we find God promising blessing for obedience. In verse 10 it says, "All people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord," the world will see that you belong to Him. Then verse 13, "And the Lord shall make thee the head and not the tail and thou shalt be above only and thou shalt not be beneath."
Now the point that he's making there is of all the nations, Israel is to be the head. Of all the nations, Israel is to be the unique recipient of divine blessing. So Israel then is the apple of God's eye. Israel is the anointed of God. Israel is by design the head of all nations in terms of special and unique blessing."
To apply this half verse of "touch not my anointed" any other way is to twist God's Word to accommodate one's own situation. So while I appreciate your concern that I am on "dangerous ground" by speaking against God's supposed "anointed" ones, it is not necessary. Those who are on dangerous ground are those who have been deceived by these men and women or worse, those who have endorsed them.
Using "touch not my anointed" out of context for one's own purposes is no better than Joel Osteen using every mention of the word "treasure" in Proverbs to teach his congregation that God wants them to be rich. We can only stand firmly on God's Word when we stand upon it in its entirety. If we merely stack up half-verses and half-truths, we will eventually teeter, wobble, topple, and fall.

1 comment:

  1. At the risk of stating the obvious, even if the "touch not my anointed" concept is applicable today (and I agree with you that it isn't), who says that Oral Roberts, or indeed any other word-of-faith teacher, is the Lord's anointed? I don't, no credible theologians or church leaders do, and I regard anyone who does as strongly deluded. Oral Roberts definitely wasn't the Lord's anointed, he was a fraudster!


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