Does this mean pastors are infallible? Does it mean believers should not test what a pastor or other leader says or writes?
ESV - 15 Saying, "Touch not my anointed ones, do my prophets no harm!
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Let's keep the verse in context by quoting the entire verse. It goes like this: 15 Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm. These anointed ones are God's prophets in the Old Testament under the Old Covenant. This has nothing to do with pastors today. I have heard this preached from the pulpit on numerous occasions where we as the common folk are warned not to question a pastor or religious leader. This is wrong, as we have been told by Paul in 1 Cor. 5 to judge (or determine between right and wrong) those who are in the church and this includes leadership. If we judge, of course, we will be judged in the same way we judge, so make sure your sidewalk's clean before you march next door.
Psalms 105:14-15 " He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes; Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm." When do we first hear of God's intervention in protecting one of his anointed? Genesis 12:17 "And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife." Again in Genesis 20:3 Sarah was divinely protected by God from defilement, this time she was protected from Abimelech. " But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife." Now look at Genesis 20:6-7 as God speaks to Abimelech. God identifies Abraham as a "prophet". "And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her. Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine." In Genesis 26 the covenant promise to Abraham is confirmed to Isaac. Isaac like his dad told a half-truth regarding his relationship with Rebekah. After becoming aware that Rebekah was Isaac's wife and not a sister, v. 11 records Abimelech's command to his people. "And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, He that toucheth this man or his wife shall surely be put to death." If we look at the passage in context it has absolutely nothing to do with church, pastors or infallibility. It is referring to God's divine protection of the fathers; Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their generations as they traveled toward the covenanted land of Canaan. A covenant promise which was first made to Abraham in Genesis 17, a promise that would last forever, unto a thousand generations (Psalms 105:8) “It shall greatly help you to understand Scripture if you mark not only what is spoken or written, but ask of whom and to whom, with what words, at what time, where, to what intent, with what circumstances, considering what goes before and what comes after” Miles Coverdale Myles Coverdale was a 16th-century Bible translator who produced the first complete printed translation of the Bible into English.
It is my belief that once we are filled with the Holy Spirit of promise that we become anointed. (Luke4:18)(John 14:16) That the anointed word of God abides in us because we abide in His word. (John15:7) That God watches over His chosen ones to protect them always (Genesis15:1). So it is not only about a pastor and it is not about judging them. It is speaking any evil against God’s anointed people with the intent to harm them or give them a bad reputation. And also not to try to harm them physically, mentally, or spiritually. In other words do not speak evil against them, do not gossip about them and do not touch them to harm them in any way, shape or form.
You asked a very good question, Jeremiah! No, I don't believe God was talking about a small group of people, that is, ministers. Men (and women) are fallible (Romans 3:23). I believe He was talking about all Christians or all believers in general. 1 John 2:27 says, in the New King James Version (NKJV): "But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him." But this was spiritual protection that God was after here, in my opinion.
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