Anointed restraint ∙
The LORD forbid that I should kill the one he has anointed! – 1 Samuel 26:7-12
7 David and Abishai went right into Saul’s camp and found him asleep . . ..
8 “God has surely handed your enemy over to you this time!” Abishai whispered to David. “Let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won’t need to strike twice!”
9 “No!” David said. “Don’t kill him. For who can remain innocent after attacking the LORD’s anointed one?”
10 “Surely the LORD will strike Saul down someday, or he will die of old age or in battle.”
11 “The LORD forbid that I should kill the one he has anointed!”
In the current climate of animus against and resistance to authority, it is all too easy to get wrapped around the axle on one side or the other.
The inappropriate behavior of generations of abusive leaders and bosses has only recently come under the microscope. The rampant immorality within religious organizations and denominations has been exposed. The #metoo movement has played a major role in pulling back the curtain. Surely, criminal acts need to be addressed and brought to justice.
But what if we just don’t like the people in question. Suppose we disagree with their points of view, religious and political beliefs, and what then? Many in the woke generation and those in opposition are out for blood.
A resistance movement is an organized effort by some portion of the civilian population of a country to stand against a legally established government or an occupying power. The goal is to disrupt civil order and stability. It may employ nonviolent resistance or force. An example from history is the nation of Norway during WW2.
A decentralized resistance movement began almost overnight to disrupt and disavow the winner of the 2016 presidential election. Those resisting felt vulnerable and threatened. They are vehemently opposed to the administration’s views and politics. Those being resisted, often represent those that feel threatened and vulnerable themselves. The same thing occurred in 2020, only in reverse.
Whether we like it or not, in good times or bad times, whether “our leader” is in or out, all authority is delegated authority. The Father determines who is in charge and who is not.
Daniel 2:21 He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings.
It goes without saying that it is very difficult to do what is right when we are convinced those in charge, are doing what is wrong. But all children of the King are called to live by a different standard.
In previous millennia, there were barbarous peoples: the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Mongols. In recent times, the brutality and evil of modern nations and groups seem almost unparalleled. We are living in very difficult, perilous, fierce, savage, unprecedented times (2 Timothy 3:1).
The Scriptures provide guidelines. Frankly, they are hard to take. The Roman Empire was cruel and merciless. Paul lived under its authority. Emperor Nero was in control when Paul wrote these words.
1 Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.
2 So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.
7 Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.
It is so easy to shake our heads and disagree with what we read. But this is the inspired word of God that we are handling. The Father speaks to each and every one of us, through Paul. It is incumbent upon us to comprehend what we read and make decisions based upon the truth and principles taught.
Paul’s thoughts and words are not isolated. Peter and Paul are merely expressing in their own words what the Father has consistently taught throughout the Scriptures.
Titus 3:1 Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed.
1 Peter 2:13-14
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority,
14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.
When the Lord Jesus Christ was challenged about paying taxes, He adroitly answered those who would entrap Him.
17 Now tell us what you think about this: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?
18 But Jesus knew their evil motives. “You hypocrites!” he said. “Why are you trying to trap me?”
19 “Here, show me the coin used for the tax.” When they handed him a Roman coin,
20 he asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?”
21 “Caesar’s,” they replied. “Well, then,” he said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”
REFLECT & PRAY
It is a time of controversy and upheaval in the United States. Every child of the King has to decide how they are going to react when people whom the Father has put into power and authority act contrary to the truth of Scripture.
Father may my heart be right before You, and me. I seek to do what is right according to Your word even in savage times.
In the Old Testament, all the kings of Israel and Judah were anointed and placed into their positions by the Father. Many of them were wicked and did evil in clear view of the Father. But they still were His anointed.
How do we respond to leaders that the Father has anointed, but act in a dastardly fashion? King David shows us the way. King Saul was the first Jewish king. His reign had not worked out too well. He proved himself to be selfish and defiant. Eventually, the Father had enough. While Saul was still king, the Father had Samuel, the prophet, anoint David as his replacement. There was a new king in town.
Saul was furious and went into overdrive. David became a marked man. Saul relentlessly pursued David. Time and again, David eluded capture and certain death.
Recall that David had six hundred mighty men of valor. They did not take too kindly to their beloved leader being hunted down for assassination. They looked for any opportunity to take out Saul and end it all. When David’s men looked at Saul, all they saw was the enemy. But David had a totally different perspective. David looked at Saul and saw the Lord’s anointed.”
More than once David had the opportunity to kill Saul. The Father delivered Saul into David’s hands. Saul was totally vulnerable, defenseless, and at David’s mercy. But David would not take his life, nor allow others to do so. David was convinced that the Father would remove Saul in His own time, in His own way.
The question becomes, how do children of the King respond to their enemies? If their heart is right with the Father. They will seek to do the right thing.
“David’s aide saw the opportunity as a divine blessing, but David saw it as a test. He would wait for God to act in His own time.” (Stanley).
David based his decisions and actions on truth and godly principles, not serendipitous circumstances. David knew that it was wrong to lay hands on the Father’s anointed, even though King Saul was not serving the Father as he should. No doubt, David had little respect for Saul, the man. But David had absolute respect for the Father and the position of King. The Father had given the office of King to Saul.
Are any of your enemies “anointed?” Perhaps it’s a test.
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