Touch not the Lord’s anointed…

Understanding the Processes of Revelation: Walking in faith to establish Revelation through our actions

And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless?  1 Samuel 26:9

Touch not Jehovah’s anointed, is a well-known expression today within the Christian community, especially among those in the ministry of proclaiming the gospel. The expression comes up in relation to Saul, when under persecution and because of the neglect of Saul’s men, David had the opportunity to kill Saul in two different episodes.

The expression was recognized at the time as a spiritual law and ordinance among the men of David; and although in the accounts that refer to it the expression is described as a direct result of David’s refusal to harm Saul, that is, without any external cause that would inspire David to coin it, nevertheless, in the Law of Moses there is a precept that runs parallel to this expression of David,

Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people. Exodus 22:28

Today, the expression is used as a reference, more than anything else, to show the degree of support that a person in God’s service has before all those who oppose him in the ministry, mostly before satanic forces.

How did this expression come about in David? What spiritual value does it have even without deciphering it?

Although the expression at the time identifies Saul as Jehovah’s anointed,[1] the expression was not coined by David to paraphrase, do not touch Saul. David’s expression goes beyond a simple respect for the person of Saul.

Why not kill Saul? Is it because Saul is anointed as king, is that what you mean? Wasn’t David also anointed to be king by the same prophet who anointed Saul, and yet Saul persecutes him to kill him? What does it really mean not to touch Jehovah’s anointed?

The expression touch not Jehovah’s anointed is an acknowledgment and exaltation of God’s sovereignty in the processes of the man He chooses for his services: touch not Jehovah’s anointed has more to do with David than with Saul. To David, Jehovah-God is the shepherd who leads in the paths of righteousness, who comforts the soul, and whose staff is the emblem of safety. Not to touch Jehovah’s anointed means not to intervene —or abort— the processes of God by whom He in his sovereignty has chosen to establish the Kingdom on earth. Killing Saul meant opening the door so that one day someone would rise up against him, against David, and kill him in the same way that he would have killed Saul. It is the spiritual law that was imposed on them in the building of the Kingdom.

breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again. Leviticus 24:20

In the doctrine of Jesus, everyone enjoys —or suffers— according to what each one builds around him,

Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Matthew 26:52

And according to the proclamation of the Apostle Paul, each one reaps according to the seed he has sown, and according to the quantity

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Galatians 6:7

So, although the expression was coined in relation to Saul, David identifies with it the validity of a prophetic process that demands respect and obedience to the ways God chooses to establish teaching to men. In Psalm 18, a psalm composed just after David is freed from Saul’s persecution, David identifies in the expression, the opportunity to see God intervening in a supernatural way,

Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. 10 And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. 11 He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. 12 At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. 13 The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire. 14 Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them. 15 Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils. 16 He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. 17 He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. Psalm 18:7-17

The expression is a product of David’s conviction that his life is part of a prophetic operation, and is coined for the purpose of establishing the value of trust in God as the foundation for building the Kingdom of Heaven on the face of the earth.

David is not a character endowed with extraordinary physical abilities, his life stands out because of his subjection to the Lord, and the observance of the spiritual precepts upon which he walked, believing that Jehovah-God was his shepherd, and that He guided his life even though at times he had to pass through the valley of the shadow of death.

His trust in the Lord had begun long, long ago, long before he was brought out from behind the flock; his strength to face Goliath was acquired when, as a shepherd of sheep, and not as a man of arms, he faced the bears or lions that snatched one of his sheep, believing that Jehovah-God delivered him from the claws of the lion or the bear,

34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: 35 and I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. 36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. 37 David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee. 1 Samuel 17:34-37

David learned to know and understand the Will of God through daily experiences; each experience was a life lesson, and from each he drew a spiritual law and ordinance. In Psalm 119, an acrostic psalm in the Hebrew Bible, the most extensive psalm of all, is actually a spiritual log of how David learned to trust and be subject to the Lord’s instruction,

11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.…  22 Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies.…  100 I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts,….  129 Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them.….   167My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly. 168I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: Psalm 119:11—168

So the expression, touch not the Lord’s anointed, is the conviction in David that Saul is not really his enemy, as much as Goliath was; that Jehovah-God allows Saul to pursue him to make him understand —to David— that it is not only with weapons that a kingdom is established, nor is he stronger who possesses them, but he who knows how to wait for Jehovah, that is the one who will be confirmed in the Kingdom; that is why in one of his psalms David writes,

3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.…   5 Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass…   7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way,…   9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.…   34 Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it…   40 And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him. Psalm 37:3—40

And in another of his psalms he also writes,

I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1

The first time that David has the opportunity to kill Saul is when in a cave in the En-Gaddi area, David faces Saul, asleep and defenseless, but decides not to harm him and prevents his men from proceeding in revenge against him. The expression is the certification before his men that David will not proceed with vengeance towards Saul.

And he said unto his men, The Lord forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord. 1 Samuel 24:6

On that occasion after the incident, Saul acknowledged David’s loyalty, and also recognized that David would be his successor on the throne,

18 And thou hast shewed this day how that thou hast dealt well with me: forasmuch as when the Lord had delivered me into thine hand, thou killedst me not. 19 For if a man find his enemy, will he let him go well away? wherefore the Lord reward thee good for that thou hast done unto me this day. 20 And now, behold, I know well that thou shalt surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in thine hand. 1 Samuel 24:18-20

Taking Saul’s life meant making his men understand that Jehovah-God did not have enough power to resolve the conflicts of the one who trusts in Him; taking Saul’s life meant becoming God’s helper and expropriating some of His functions. Therefore, when David first faced him, he understood that even to have cut off the edge of Saul’s garment meant a bold act of iniquity towards God, for it is God who prepares the table even in the presence of the enemies,

And it came to pass afterward, that David’s heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul’s skirt. 1 Samuel 24:5

Hence, when the second event is repeated, at the Hachîla hill, David chooses this time only to keep the spear and the water bottle.

And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless? 10 David said furthermore, As the Lord liveth, the Lord shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish. 11 The Lord forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the Lord’s anointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go. 1 Samuel 26:9:

Why didn’t David want to hurt Saul? Why didn’t he kill him that night?

David discovered that by killing Saul that night he was walking away from the Will of God, and not because the act was considered an affront to the command Thou shalt not kill;[2] he was walking away from the Will of God because he discovered that it was not the way to the throne, nor the purpose for which he had been chosen to be king. Years later, this same establishment of faith and trust in God would be used by Jesus to validate the way of the cross,

53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? Matthew 26:53-54

That night, David added something else to his declaration of confidence in God; David said, As the Lord liveth, the Lord shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish.  The Lord forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the Lord’s anointed:

Some time ago, David had understood that Jehovah-God is not only a source of help; David understood that Jehovah-God organizes the prophetic agenda of the one who is chosen to establish the Kingdom on earth. The experience with Abigail, Nabal’s wife, was useful to him in understanding that his cause was not personal, that his cause was Jehovah-God’s cause, and that therefore, he had to learn to hope in Jehovah,

29Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the Lord thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling….   31 that this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood causeless, or that my lord hath avenged himself: but when the Lord shall have dealt well with my lord, then remember thine handmaid.…   33 and blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand.…   35 So David received of her hand that which she had brought him, and said unto her, Go up in peace to thine house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person. 1 Samuel 25:29—35

The experience of Nabal’s refusal of David’s request, and his eventual death without natural cause, helped David to understand that to have killed Saul that night would have been sheer folly: if God took the life of Nabal, who was not an anointed man, because he did not provide for his men, how much more Saul, who is an anointed of the Lord, and who persecutes David without cause; hence David’s expression, As the Lord liveth, the Lord shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish.  The Lord forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the Lord’s anointed:

Why are these two facts impressive, and why are they a demonstration of his trust in the Lord? By killing Saul that night, David could have advanced his path to the throne; Jehovah-God had revealed to him that he had been chosen to replace Saul,[3] the prophet Samuel had anointed him several years earlier revealing to him that God was taking him to be king over Israel,[4] and God had anticipated that He was delivering his enemies into his hands;[5] and above all, Saul had already acknowledged that David would be his successor on the throne.[6]  But David preferred not to do so because he found it more delightful to see God acting supernaturally in his surroundings than to enjoy the temporary pleasure of being free from his persecutors.

So, the expression “Touch not the Lord’s anointed” is the climax of David’s learning process of how to trust and depend on the Lord. David has been able to see how God is working and preparing him to stand unarmed against his persecutors, just as He prepared him to stand armed against the bears and lions and, later, the Philistines. The battle does not consist in how skillful a person is in the use of the sword; the battle consists in how much confidence the person has in God to expose himself to the adversary by not trusting in weapons. Victory comes from Jehovah-God and is the result of trusting in Him. Trust in Jehovah-God makes the iron bow break, this is its conclusion as soon as he is delivered from Saul.

33 He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places. 34 He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. 35 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great. Psalm 18:33-35

Did David have courage against Saul? Psalm 18 written just after David is delivered from Saul in Keilah, the preamble to the En-Gaddi scene, the psalmist expresses the feeling of betrayal that assailed him, we do not know for how long,

39 For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me. 40 Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me. 41 They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the Lord, but he answered them not. 42 Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets. 43 Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me. 44 As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me. 45 The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places. 46 The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted. 47 It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me. Psalm 18:39-47

These facts show the level of knowledge that David developed about the Will of Jehovah-God. In one of his psalms we read precisely David’s delight in doing God’s Will,

I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. Psalm 40:8

Saul was rejected by Jehovah-God to be king precisely because he did not comply with the instruction that the Lord had given him concerning Amalek; but nevertheless, having had the opportunity to kill Saul and free himself from persecution, and above all, to come to the throne according to the anointing that he had received from the prophet Samuel, David preferred to continue wandering through the deserts and being persecuted by Saul, until Jehovah-God determined otherwise. His decision demonstrated the value of waiting for Jehovah. What a sign of trust in Jehovah God!

22 And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king. 1 Samuel 15:22-23

David understood that his life was prophesying about someone else he did not yet know,

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness. I said, Lord, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee. Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish? And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity: his heart gathereth iniquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it. All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt. An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him: and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more. Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. 10 But thou, O Lord, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them. 11 By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me. 12 And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face forever. 13 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen. Psalm 41

As soon as David is established on the throne of Israel and brings the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem, David laid the foundation of his Kingdom on the recognition of the value of not touching Jehovah’s anointed,

20 And when they went from nation to nation, and from one kingdom to another people; 21 he suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes, 22 saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm. 1 Chronicles 16:20-22

Not to touch Jehovah’s anointed means to acknowledge Jesus, whom God sent for the salvation of his people, to establish by subjection to Him and by the establishment of His sovereignty, the Will of God on earth. On the day when David brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, a prophetic act, demanding that the Presence of the Lord’s Salvation be proclaimed every day, David said: Proclaim his salvation day by day (יְשׁוּעָתֽוֹ); in the Hebrew, however, we read: proclaim His Savior [His Jesus] day by day.

23 Sing unto the Lord, all the earth; shew forth from day to day his salvation (יְשׁוּעָתֽוֹ). 1 Chronicles 16:23

This law and ordinance that was imposed on him by the Spirit was recorded as such in the book of Psalms,

saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm. Psalm 105:15

Whoever stands up against authority is seduced by darkness, and stands up against the Lord God,

casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2nd. Corinthians 10:5

And he shall receive for himself the judgment of the Lord,

Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. Romans 13:2

Thou shalt not touch the Lord’s anointed is not the excuse for gaining status, nor the argument for seeking recognition from the nations; Thou shalt not touch the Lord’s anointed is the Revelation of an ordinance to live on earth according to the laws of Heaven.

You shall not touch Jehovah’s anointed does not mean to do nothing and stand idly by, it is the confidence that God will do, it is the hope of seeing the conviction fulfilled that God took our life, and He sets the agenda.

You shall not touch the Lord’s anointed means not to take revenge by our hands; it is not to break into God’s plans, it is to let God’s Righteousness be established above man’s righteousness; it is the decision to submit to the law of Heaven.

You shall not touch Jehovah’s anointed means to live by Revelation; only he who submits to the Revelation of Scripture can understand what it means You shall not touch Jehovah’s anointed.







All biblical quotations are taken from the King James Version.

Pastor Pedro Montoya

WhatsApp 1(407) 764—2699

Twitter: @pastormontoya

[1] 1 Samuel 24:11

[2] Exodus 20:13

[3] 1 Samuel 15:28

[4] Idem 16:1, 13

[5] Idem 24:4

[6] Idem 24:21—23