Do Not Touch the Lord’s Anointed

“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.” (1 Samuel 24:6)

Based on this verse alone, many feel it is a sin to even discuss the crisis engulfing the Diocese of Sabah. Others quote this verse to condemn anyone questioning Bishop Albert Vun’s integrity, lack of transparency and poor governance. Do not touch the Lord’s anointed. What does it mean?

1. It means do not harm or kill the Lord’s anointed.

God forbids us from taking another’s life, EVEN when the anointed is coming for yours. Saul tried to kill David many times. 1 Samuel 19-24 tells us how Saul pursued David from town to town, cave to cave. So when Saul ended up sleeping in the same cave where David was hiding in, David’s supporters saw it a divine providence to end this saga. While David spared Saul, he cut off the edge of King Saul’s rob. David held the king in such high regard, he was guilt stricken with the act of cutting off the King’s robe.

That’s when he uttered, “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.” Who said this? David. Not God. While David made a noble decision, we must be careful to understand this is David’s statement, NOT a command from the mouth of God. Let’s be clear.

Do not murder. Do not commit adultery. Love the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strengths. Go make disciples in Jerusalem, Samaria, Judea and the ends of the world. These are God’s command, direct utterance of God. “Do not touch the Lord’ anointed” while noble, is no a command from God, but a statement from David.

Guess what’s another statement from David? “Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die. ” Are we going to quote and follow that too?

2. It means be prepared to confront.

In Samuel 24, David had 600 fighters traveling with him. While he would not kill Saul, he and his men were armed and ready to defend themselves if needed. Why would you bother traveling with fighters and weapons if you didn’t intend to use them?

Truth, integrity, accountability and good governance are worth defending. These values are hedges that protect the good work of the church of Jesus Christ. Without these values, our work and very essence of Christianity is open to assails of sins.

He said to Saul, “Why do you listen when men say, ‘David is bent on harming you’? 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.’ 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. 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. (1 Samuel 24:9-12)

Though David would not kill Saul, he confronted the sins of Saul. Why are you accusing me wrongly? Why are you hunting me down? I have done no wrong. Let God be my avenger. David pointed out how Saul was wrong. He confronted him.

This is so different from the attitude of many Christians in this crisis who think we cannot say, “Bishop I think you are administering church funds without transparency and good governance. Why are you overstaying your welcome as the Dean of All Saints? Why didn’t you show up at the AGM? Why did you buy an expensive car without Standing Committee’s approval?”

3. It means submitting to the higher authority.

“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.” (1 Samuel 24:12)

David refused to kill Saul because he believed only an authority higher than the king should be the judge. In the times of 1 Samuel, there was no modern day judiciary system and the king was the highest authority in the land. When you have a dispute with the king, only God can settle it. David submitted to the higher authorities instead of taking matters into his own hands.

Our current crisis is different. The Bishop is not the highest authority in the land. He is under the law of the land and the Archbishop. By bringing issues to the Archbishop, we are appealing for a higher authority to resolve the crisis. So how is bringing issues to the Archbishop an attack on the Lord’s anointed?

Get our thinking straight and our theology right!

25 comments

  1. Ken

    Am really impressed, and relieved, that finally I see people quoting Bible verses with wisdom considering the full context i/o merely quoting single phrases to distort the meaning. People should really be clear about our theology. Please do not defend the Bishop with blind faith, and even waging war against people who so-called attack him. This is so wrong! I believe only God and the Bishop himself know whether he committed any wrongdoing. None of us can say that he is innocent. So please do not judge those ‘attackers’ for ‘attacking’ him when investigation is for a good cause. On the other side, there must be reasons that triggered the investigation on him. So now, since investigation has already begun, we can only pray that justice and truth to prevail.

    I hope that the Bishop never committed the alleged wrongdoings. But if he did, shouldn’t the diocese do something about it? This investigation is a very good wake-up call to us to maybe get our thinking right i/o of submitting blindly.

  2. samtheprophet

    Amen.

    A wise man listens to the rumblings of his Lord .
    A humble man discerns the message of the rumblings.
    The wise and humble sinner repents of his sins

    And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD

    A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

    Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

    for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

  3. Anonymous

    In the gosple Jesus said not all those who call him God are doing what He had preached – What do you think of Bishop Albert Vun?

  4. joshuakong823

    Herbert was always preaching that and he had to resigned, and so?

    Albert also preaches that and what is to happen soon is already known…

    See what God is doing in our midst for a righteous patch and path..

  5. Dr. Richard B. Barrow

    That is an excellent exposition, for so often sincere believing Christians misinterpret that passage of scripture, almost implying that leaders could get away with anything.

    Another point I would like to make is about a person is innocent until proved to be guilty.
    This is slightly distorted, and should read: ‘A person is ‘DEEMED’ innocent until proved guilty (in a court of law). In fact, whether or not it is proved in court, if a person has committed an offence, he is actually guilty, and only God knows that! However, in courts, he is to be ‘presumed’ innocent if there is no evidence or proof of the offence. In our current situation we are not dealing with any case in court, but based on suspicion and appearances.

    It is known there there have been cases of people who are innocent being found guilty in a court of law, and the converse, those who are really guilty being pronounced ‘not guilty’ because there was inadequate evidence to convict.

  6. Victor

    Happened upon this blog as I was surfing today. I’m glad that you are so ruffled by the comment (You know what I’m talking about). This blog is the action of a desperate group of people, who could not have their way so are now acting like spoiled children, throwing tantrums (albeit adult tantrums) and quoting scripture like they know so much about it. And what more, talking about the affairs of the church as if you know what is really going on. Well, you don’t = ) So, get over yourself!!

    So what if you have spies in the PCC and Standing Committee? The fact is, no matter how righteous someone is, the wicked will always find ways to accuse them, to slander them, and to persecute them. But the wicked accusers should be warned. They are like CHAFF that the wind blows away (Ooo, see what I did there) ^^

    All will be made clear soon. So do continue justifying yourselves. It’s the only thing left for you to do.

    Vengeance is the Lords. I just hope I’m not next to you lot when it happens. scary… *nothing to do here*

    • Ken

      Victor, why would people try to ‘have their way’ to bring up these discussions (which in your terms, is accusations)? Would there be wave if there’s no wind?

      And how well do you know about the affairs of the church? Since u made your point that the ‘wicked accusers and persecutors’ do not know it well, we would appreciate if u share with us about what u know, and justify the Bishop’s innocence with evidence (instead of mere blind faith and calling others wicked, which is not so nice of you).  

      I am not sure about others, but I personally do not hope the Bishop really committed the wrongdoings. I believe we all want truth to prevail, instead of eyeing to bring him down.

  7. cheang

    What is amazing is that the principles are not out of date but still consistent at the time this was written until today.

  8. cheang

    Victor’s the one throwing childish tantrum. Can’t stand that interpretation of scripture is not the monopoly of the pastors and clergy? Typical of cult is to control the minds of the members.
    The days of pastors know best are over. The Bible is not written for scholars. It is for ordinary people by very ordinary people.
    Instead of intimidating and name calling, Victor should be rebutting the interpretation here.
    The tactics of autocratic church authorities towards truth seekers are the same all over. They use lynch mob to silence any real and imaginary challenge.
    They play the victim card and drop God’s name when they lose their argument.

  9. Victor

    Cheang, is anyone controlling your mind? Because as a member of the “cult” (as you called it) I am not being “controlled”. The interpretation of scripture is definitely not the monopoly of the clergy, but neither is it to be interpreted to suit our every whim.

    Ken, if u want to know something, ask =)

    By the way, cheang, get your ”interpretation” of English right. A childish tantrum is one thrown by an angry child. I’m not angry, I just pity you.

    • cheang

      Victor, sure you are not a child. Childishness means behaving like a child who cannot get his way. Well, why should you pity me?

  10. Musa

    Thanks Thetruthasc for a very good writeup . Very balance. We are here to seek the truth . There’s not only 5 or a disgruntled few , many are suffering silently . The church is divided I sincerely hope this saga will end soon .

    Victor
    The words and adjectives you used are not kind . If one write like this in the Diocese FB , sure it gets deleted. I think you are a kid

    • thetruthasc

      Musa, anything that’s slightly critical of the bishop is deleted on FB. What’s the difference between govt owned media and Diocesan media? The latter is worse because they claimed to have the grace of Jesus but they suppress their flock everyday. If you offered differing comments, you are “sowing the seeds of dissent”. Is your leadership so fragile a single criticism will destroy it?

      “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”

      Victor, since you think I am interpreting the Bible at my whim and fancies. Perhaps you can show me how the exposition is wrong. Happy to be corrected.

  11. Ken

    Victor,

    In relation to your reply “if u want to know something, ask”, I thought I have made it clear that I would like you to share with us the evidence of why the Bishop is innocent? If u know, please do answer instead of calling people wicked for attempting to shake your belief or create chaos in the church/ diocese. If u cant, please stop throwing the tantrums and do respect others.

    Thetruthasc, I have been a keen follower of this blog since 2 weeks ago (does not mean I am not a follower of Christ, just in case some people are prepared to lambast this statement). I hope you continue to bring up healthy discussions and update us on this saga. I think we all have the right to know the truth, and this blog is a good way to open up our minds and ears towards that.

  12. Anonymous

    I would respectfully disagree with your last point. It seems more like speculation than “straight” theology to look into something not even hinted at in the Bible – unless, of course, God was the “higher authority” mentioned, which is rather moot seeing as God is the *highest* authority. Your first point is a good one, though.

    To me, this passage shows more of David’s heart after God rather than giving any direct examples. If there was to be one, it would be to trust in God! True, the words were uttered by the mouth of David, but they reflect the heart of a righteous man who found tremendous favour with God. To discount them so quickly would be wrong, because we can see here the principles that Paul later writes: submit to authority, for they have been given their position by God.

    Yes, Saul had fallen far of God’s purpose, and David did not submit helplessly to being killed. Yet what he did was trust in the Lord: “And may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you.”, and I feel that this is the key focus in the passage. That while we have a responsibility to act, we have to be humble in knowing that it is in God’s hands.

    Anyhow, apart from the passing dismissal that there is not much value in David’s statement, as well as your last point on authority that feels added-on with little basis, this is one more point I would like to add: perhaps you should monitor the comments to avoid name-slinging, as was your conditions when you allowed these. I respect you as the founder of the blog, and for gathering this information in a good manner (more organized and less prone to emotionalism than the ASC blog, at any rate!) – many of us are watching and praying earnestly that this “season” will pass. It is my wish that we do not take a stance of superiority in this matter, but remember that all of us are, to quote Paul, “the vilest sinner”, saved by grace alone. Thank you, and God bless.

    • thetruthasc

      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. (1 Samuel 24:12)

      That’s how I arrive at the final point. David appealed to the higher authority, God, to judge and avenge. At the era of Saul, there wasn’t any higher authority than the King. So David looked to God.

      Today, while God remains the highest authority, we also have a judiciary system and in this case, the Archbishop as the higher authority. As a first step, we are appealing to the Archbishop to judge this matter.

      I was not dismissive about David’s statement, “Do not touch the Lord’s anointed.” Merely pointing out we must recognize it was David’s statement not a command from God. I believe the utterance of men, no matter no noble, does not carry the same weight as direct commands of God.

      It’s dangerous to build an entire theology on spiritual authority based on one verse. What about Paul’s teaching about how a bishop should behave, or about correcting older men and leaders?

      In the same way, we are appealing to the Archbishop, a higher authority, to judge this matter. It is not to say the complainants are superior, but we are submitting and appealing to a higher authority.

      Pls point out any inflammatory comments on this blog. Happy to relook them.

  13. cheang

    Where’s the grace of the diocean when it is so antagonistic? Why can’t it clarify and answer the questions raised?
    But this thread is about “do not harm God’s anointed”. In anyway does the principles biblically incorrect? But this was attacked without a rebuttal by one victor, calling this blog by a group of desperate people. Isn’t this thuggish?
    Amazing isn’t it that there are people calling themselves christians but so uncivil in their conduct, worse than schoolyard bullies?

    • Anonymous

      God’s righteouness prevail. Pray for God’s will on the transformation to transparency, accountability and good governance. Grace and mercy on your people.

  14. joshuakong823

    The defendant had to lie in his writing of 5th Aug to stay alive cheating.

    this message has been published in the front page of ADOS.

    Why still NO apology for the grave error on the hearing of 3rd Aug?

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