Sunday 24 November 2013

Judge Not, Touch Not: What does it mean to touch God's anointed?

I want to address a few passages in their context to see what they actually say and what they do not say.
The first one is judge not, lest you be judged, which ironically condemns those who misuse this text.
Let's look:
"7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces."

A careful reading of the context suggests that we are to judge but not in a hypocritical manner. When you are about to condemn someone for lying for example, Make sure that you are not doing the same thing, then you can point out what the person is doing is wrong. Clean up your mess, then you can tell someone else to do the same.

With respect to the other verse, the phrase Touch not God's anointed is often abused quite regularly as well and the historical context is neglected. Let's read the passage in it's context. This is in 1 Samuel 24
"5 Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. 6 He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the Lord.” 7 With these words David sharply rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way.
8 Then David went out of the cave and called out to Saul, “My lord the king!” When Saul looked behind him, David bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. 9 He said to Saul, “Why do you listen when men say, ‘David is bent on harming you’? 10 This day you have seen with your own eyes how the Lord delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, ‘I will not lay my hand on my lord, because he is the Lord’s anointed.’ 11 See, my father, look at this piece of your robe in my hand! I cut off the corner of your robe but did not kill you. See that there is nothing in my hand to indicate that I am guilty of wrongdoing or rebellion. I have not wronged you, but you are hunting me down to take my life. 12 May the Lord judge between you and me. And may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you. 13 As the old saying goes, ‘From evildoers come evil deeds,’ so my hand will not touch you."

In context, David was not allowed to attack Saul because he was still in possession of the throne at the time and it was not David's right to remove Saul from power. Saul was still the anointed King of Israel and it wasn't time for David to take the throne at this point. In fact David even killed a man who brought news of Sauls demise. However, This text doesn't say even implicitly that you cannot expose a false prophet. People may have successful ministries and perform supposed signs and wonders, But that doesn't exonerate them from being judged according to scripture. We are to make rightous judgements, as found in Titus 2:15, 3:5 and many other passages. They MUST be called out as false prophets IF they are teaching abhorant doctrinal error, are known to have made false prophecies and have been involved in a false prophetic ministry and must be silenced for teaching and doing things they ought not to. Touch not God's anointed was a ONE TIME event within the context of the Bible, it is NOT a universal principle to all nations.

Also, Let us read Psalm 105:15 in context to see what it says, because it is often misused by many to silence people from correcting prophets. Let's look:

"12 When they were but few in number,
    few indeed, and strangers in it,
13 they wandered from nation to nation,
    from one kingdom to another.
14 He allowed no one to oppress them;
    for their sake he rebuked kings:
15 “Do not touch my anointed ones;
    do my prophets no harm.”
16 He called down famine on the land
    and destroyed all their supplies of food;
17 and he sent a man before them—
    Joseph, sold as a slave.
18 They bruised his feet with shackles,
    his neck was put in irons,
19 till what he foretold came to pass,
    till the word of the Lord proved him true.
20 The king sent and released him,
    the ruler of peoples set him free.
21 He made him master of his household,
    ruler over all he possessed,
22 to instruct his princes as he pleased
    and teach his elders wisdom."

In context, YHWH or HaShem is rebuking the Gentile Kings for trying to bring desolation and destruction on the people of Israel as they travel to the promised land. The people are referred to as God's anointed ones. The Hebrew in question used is naga ( Here are the meanings:

1) to touch, reach, strike
    1a) (Qal)
        1a1) to touch
        1a2) to strike
        1a3) to reach, extend to
        1a4) to be stricken
             1a4a) stricken (participle)
    1b) (Niphal) to be stricken, be defeated
    1c) (Piel) to strike
    1d) (Pual) to be stricken (by disease)
    1e) (Hiphil) to cause to touch, reach, approach, arrive
        1e1) to cause to touch, apply
        1e2) to reach, extend, attain, arrive, come
        1e3) to approach (of time)
        1e4) to befall (of fate)

In particular, it means to harm in the context of Psalm 105. It is an exhortation NOT to hurt the Israelites. There is nothing the text at all to say that you cannot speak out against false prophets and expose them. Let's take a look at some examples.

"John 7:24 Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.

"Titus 2:15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you."

"Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. 10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. 11 You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned."

"Romans 16:17 I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. 19 Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil."

There is nothing wrong with judging a prophet who claims to be true as correct or incorrect based on scripture. In fact it is commanded. If ANYONE claims to be a prophet, they need to be checked out with the words of scripture. If anyone makes a false prophecy, even if it is a favourite teacher of yours, they are to be avoided and should not have their prophetic credentials defended, considering they have disqualified themselves from continuing in that ministry. False prophecy is not unforgivable, but it is nevertheless a very grave and serious matter that needs to be repented of. To say "Don't Touch God's anointed" inevitability leads us not to judge them.

While I don't deny there are true prophets out there, I do believe we need to be careful not to be lead astray, we are to test everything, hold onto what is good and let the bad go or avoid evil as 1 Thessalonians 5:21 states.

I hope and pray that you study these texts carefully and to not distort them out of context. Check my words with scripture and the truth shall set you free. If you find what I am saying in the scriptures, then I am glad I have helped.

God Bless and Take Care.

Answering Judaism.

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