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What Does it Mean ‘Touch Not My Anointed’?

When we look back at the scripture, “touch not my anointed,” it is referring to anyone trying to touch or harm any or all of God’s children. God protects all that believe in him, all who are called by him, all that follow him.

Contributing Writer
Updated May 12, 2022
What Does it Mean ‘Touch Not My Anointed’?

Some Bible verses are taken out of context and can be misleading more regularly than they are accurately read. The present verse is one of these. False teachers are becoming more productive, “touch not my anointed” is tossed about more than once as a protective weapon to quiet the voices of truth.

It is likewise used to legitimize church leadership that is abusive or dictatorial. The misfortune is that it sounds scriptural, in light of the fact that it is, thus some individuals consider addressing it or to discover what it truly implies.

Thus, the spiritual ability to properly discern it is closed down as being submissive to the Word of God. As uncovered in the time of the temptation of Christ, Satan rushes to utilize the Word to accomplish his own endeavors.

For this situation, it is the propagation of corrupt and ungodly instructions and power inside the church congregation.

So, with that being said, unfortunately, there are some that assume that this Scripture points toward ministers, preachers, pastors, evangelists, etc. They believe that this verse makes them, and their preaching to be beyond criticism or unassailable.

Another way of saying it is that some believe that the congregation should never challenge what the preacher, or man of God, does or says.

However, people like this tend to forget that all Christians are responsible, answerable, and chargeable to our heavenly Father and that we are not lords over anyone (1 Peter 5:1-11).

People that attempt to act in this manner think that they are always right and that no one ought to ever address them or question their supposed authority.

What Is the Context of ‘Touch Not My Anointed’?

To understand Psalm 105:15, we must look at the context to which it is written. This chapter is a song written by David as it is regarding the deeds and protection that God performed to bring his anointed into the Promised Land.

David wrote this so that the people would remember God’s miracles and encourage them to continue to live close to him. The same concept still applies to us today.

This verse is identical to the verse in 1 Chronicles 16:22. The text surrounding these two verses is also nearly identical. So, we have to look at the context of the scriptures. When we read them, we see that they are referring to the nation of Israel, not a specific person or persons.

If we look back at Psalm 105:6, we see that David states, “you his servants, the descendants of Abraham,” and “his chosen ones, the children of Jacob.” These verses point toward the people, not a person.

Psalm 105:8 speaks of the covenant that is to be remembered. This covenant was given to Abraham (Genesis 15:18-21), and afterward given to Isaac (Genesis 26:24-25), and Jacob (Genesis 28:13-15).

God vowed to give the place that is known as Canaan (present-day Israel) to their lineage. He additionally guaranteed that the Messiah would come from their line.

So, we can see that the seed of Abraham and the children of Jacob go through the nation of Israel, and looking through that lineage, it goes all the way down through the generations to Christ, God’s Son.

With that in mind, it also applies to every born-again believer; every man, woman, and child that proclaims Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Who Are the Anointed?

Who are the anointed? Is it just those called to preach God’s Word? Is it only for the prophets of the Old Testament or the disciples of the New Testament?

When we look at the definition of anointed, we can find that it is a person that is consecrated, sanctified, blessed, or set apart for divine use. Most often, it is a person who has received a calling from God. Who has received a calling from God, or what does it mean to be called?

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

The individuals who are “called” are those that the Holy Spirit convicts and then these people accept Christ into their hearts. Such individuals have a new viewpoint and a new attitude on life.

So then that tells us that all Christians are called to do something, not just those who preach (Matthew 28:19). This tells us that all Christians are anointed (2 Corinthians 1:20-22).

When we look back at the scripture, “touch not my anointed,” it is referring to anyone trying to touch or harm any or all of God’s children. God protects all that believe in him, all who are called by him, all that follow him.

All Christians are important to God, regardless of our Christian job description, “for there is no respect of persons with God” (Romans 2:11).

We are a holy people unto the Lord, and God has chosen us to be a treasured possession (Deuteronomy 14:2). We have been called by God and we are his (Isaiah 43:1). We are a chosen generation, we are royal priests, we are a holy nation, and we are his treasure (1 Peter 2:9).

Why Does This Verse Matter?

This scripture was a warning to those who are not one of God’s own. It was a warning to those who came against the nation of Israel and to those who would come against God’s children of today.

Since all Christians are anointed by God, does this imply that “touch not my anointed” keeps us from getting hurt in some way? The answer is no. Christians will experience the negative impacts of living in a fallen world.

However, simultaneously, Christians understand that God is totally in control, and he protects his children.

Whatever happens to them is permitted by God. Even Satan himself cannot lay a finger on the children of God without God's unequivocal consent (Job 1:12; 2:6). So, we are to trust God in all things.

Regardless of whatever occurs in our lives, we believe and accept that God is in charge and will prepare, enable, and safeguard us to accomplish what he has planned to be done.

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6).

If God gives a serious admonition, why have some prophets, apostles, or disciples met with such violent deaths? The straightforward response is that humankind will do as he will. This does not adjust the seriousness of it or its ramifications.

The facts confirm that God safeguarded his anointed people prior to anything that occurred. Yet, it is often noticed that God’s anointed were tormented and killed by their adversaries and sometimes by their own countrymen.

These real factors do not modify the results of “touch not my anointed.” The admonition is that God will address the individuals who disregard, who hurt or kill his anointed. It is a lasting and not-debatable consequence.

For further reading:

What Does it Mean to Be Anointed by God?

The Bible and Emotional Abuse

What Was God’s Promise to Abraham?

How Are the Sanctified Different?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/fcscafeine

Chris SwansonChris Swanson answered the call into the ministry over 20 years ago. He has served as a Sunday School teacher, a youth director along with his wife, a music director, an associate pastor, and an interim pastor. He is a retired Navy Chief Hospital Corpsman with over 30 years of combined active and reserve service. You can check out his work here.

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