Honoring God’s Anointed Fallen – Part One
Most of us are familiar with the story of Saul, first king of Israel. God chose this young man to be the leader of His people. He anointed him and gave him favor; however, Saul did not handle God’s anointing well. Much was entrusted to him, and he failed. The sins he committed had severe and public consequences, one of which was that God removed the kingship from him and gave it to another man, a shepherd named David.
Here, we come across something surprising: God removed the kingdom from Saul; He did not remove the anointing.
Many of us know men and women of God who have committed grievous, public sins. They fell. They made Christianity look bad to the rest of the world. They hurt a lot of people, and today, they may or may not be sorry for it. Having witnessed their shortcomings, it would be very easy for us to pass judgment on them. But before we do, we need to remember the anointing.
There is a reason the Bible clearly says, “Touch not My anointed” (1 Chronicles 16:22). Doing so can be dangerous. Saul was obviously operating out of the flesh. He tried to kill David; he tried to kill his own son. But he still carried the anointing. David recognized that and refused to harm the man, even though no one would have faulted him for doing so. The man had tried to kill him! Nevertheless, David let God bring judgment and chose not to lay a finger on Saul.
God is the One who directs His anointing. He is the One who removes it or pours it out. We need to be very careful what we say about our brothers and sisters who have fallen and maybe even left the ministry. We don’t have a right to speak against them.
The anointing is dependent on God
We are “anointed” when God puts a measure of His Spirit in us, and that measure resides with us. Similar to oil, the anointing has a tendency to leave a residue on almost everything it touches.
When people carry God’s anointing, that anointing touches us when we come near them. We aren’t touched by the people themselves or their charisma. The anointing is not dependent on what those people say, do or think; it is not dependent on how appropriately they act. It is dependent on God.
In a way, the anointing is like the wind. We don’t know where it’s going next, but we do know when it’s present. God chooses when the anointing resides and when it leaves. If it resides, it resides to serve God’s purpose. This is why it’s important not to speak against our family — our brothers and sisters who have made mistakes and poor choices. We are not the One who determines where the anointing should go and what it should do next. If David was not willing to touch Saul, a twisted, sinful man who never truly changed, then we should not be willing to touch God’s anointed, either. In due time, God delivered to David everything He had promised him and more.
In conclusion, I would like to leave you with a few thoughts to ponder. Would Israel’s history be different now if David had responded to Saul the way many of us would have responded to him? How much do our words delay or escalate our destinies? What if our potential has been stifled because of the judgments we have made and the words we have spoken against God’s anointed fallen?