A scandal broken out over social media (primarily in Nigeria) regarding rape allegations made about a popular pastor in Lagos, Nigeria. These rape allegations aren’t new and are quite rampant. When the scandal broke out, there were many schools of thought on the matter but something that was a common thread in everyone’s opinion was the phrase ‘Touch Not My Anointed and Do my Prophets no Harm’.
I was scheduled to post a hot image of myself on social media that day, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Thus I prayed – God, what should I do and I was led to do this study. So here it goes!
Through this article, I hope to answer the following question from a biblical perspective.
- What does it mean to ‘Touch Not My Anointed?’
- Can you go after a ‘Man of God’ if he is accused of committing a crime/sin?
- What happens after?
Part 1 – What does it mean to ‘Touch Not My Anointed?’
The popular phrase ‘Touch Not My Anointed?’ comes from Psalm 105:15.
Psalm 105:15 KJV – Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
What does the above scripture mean?
Any student of the Bible knows that when interpreting a scripture, the 1st point of call is to understand the context in which it was used and the easiest way to do that is to read the verses before and after it.
Psalm 105: 13 – 17 When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people; 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. Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread. He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant
From the above, you can see that the scripture was clearly speaking about the children of Israel. The ‘famine upon the land’ referred to in verse 16 was the famine that drove Israel to send his sons to Egypt to buy food to eat (Genesis 41: 54 – 42:2) .Verse 17 shows us that God sent Joseph before them into Egypt. Thus this snippet clearly places that phrase in Genesis 41. I hope its clear that ‘Touch Not My Anointed’ as used here referred to the children of Israel and not just any person who claims to be ‘Anointed’.
Before we go on again, let’s even look at what it means to be ‘anointed’ and who are the ‘anointed’ ones.
The Hebrew word for ‘anointed’ as used in Psalm 105:15 is mashiyach, pronounced as (maw-shee’-akh) meaning anointed; usually a consecrated person (as a king, priest, or saint); specifically, the Messiah:–anointed, Messiah. Anointed means a consecrated person; someone set apart by God. The children of Israel were clearly a set apart people.
Deuteronomy 14:2 You have been set apart as holy to the Lord your God, and he has chosen you from all the nations of the earth to be his own special treasure.
Isaiah 43:1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
Clearly the children of Israel were set apart by God and they are the object of that clause in Psalm 105:15.
1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light
The scripture ‘Touch not my anointed‘, refers to every set apart child of God and not just to pastors or men of God. We are all anointed i.e. set apart of God and shouldn’t be touched by the evil one. That warning/instruction was to the evil people who were trying to overcome Israel at the time and we know how God dealt with every nation who attempted to harm the Israelites throughout the Bible starting from Pharaoh. Thus the admonition to not speak out against ‘men of God’ because they are anointed does not stand based on this scripture alone.
Part 2 – Can you go after a ‘Man of God’ if he is accused of committing a crime/sin
Men of God are MEN! Repeat after me!
Your pastor/deacon/ministry leader/apostle/overseer/spiritual leader is HUMAN like you!
James 5:1 7a Elijah was a human being, even as we are.
Did you see that! Elijah, the man that called down fire from heaven and stopped rain fall for 3 years on the earth was a human being o…so how about your ‘man of God’?
I said that so we can stop idolizing men of God. It is uncalled for and not even what Jesus wanted (Matt 10:22 -26). Paul said follow me as I follow Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1) because he knew that the excellency of power was not of him but of God (2 Corinthians 4:7). The man of God that you love for whatever reason is ministering with the grace (supernatural ability) and anointing of God on his life. So, watching your man of God should cause you to love God more and press into him aspiring to greater depths with God.
But should they be respected? Yes! They should be given double honor sef!
1 Timothy 5:17 The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.
Honoured! Not worshiped or immortalized. They are not saints, they are not angels; they are humans with the same emotions as you. They wee, poo, cry, feel pain, get angry, shout and can be annoying too. The difference is that true servants of God (as good Christians should too), have by the power of the Holy Spirit subdued their human nature and are led predominantly by the Spirit of God.
That being said.
Pastors, like all Christians, struggle with sin. And, like all Christians, pastors need grace. But when a pastor falls to those sins which disqualify him from this role of spiritual overseer, he also needs the correction and accountability of the church. He needs clear speech and direction not sentimental sweets…taken from Alliance of confessing evangelicals website
The bible is quite clear about what the ideal overseer looks like.
1 Timothy 3:2 -7 NLT – So, a church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church? A church leader must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall. Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap.
Thus, when a pastor falls short of the above, it poses a challenge to the gospel and can lead to mockery of the gospel as well.
Now, an accused person is not guilty until proven so. Thus, I believe that if a church leader is accused of something, he should address it and prove his innocence. He should use whatever physical proof available to him and pray to God to vindicate him as well. And we have examples of this in the Bible;
- In the New Testament – Paul was brought before the court on some charges in Acts 23 and we see him defending himself and clearing the air. We see this same example portrayed by Peter in the book of Acts; whenever he was accused of something, they stood up, spoke the truth and prayed for vindication from God. (Acts 4:24). It was only Jesus who kept mum as he was being accused because that it was destiny to suffer unduly and die for our sins (Isiah 53:7).
- In the Old Testament – The book of Psalms is full of David’s cry for vindication during the various times he was under attack. Elijah was threatened by Jezebel and he cried unto God and was helped (1 Kings 19). We see the same for Daniel, accused and put in the lion’s den; he spoke for himself and prayed to God for vindication which he got (Daniel 6:22 – 28).
A man of God is a man and can struggle with sin.
There is a clear guideline for what a church leader should look like and when they start slipping, it’s okay to ask them to step down till they can get back to that standard. A man of God can be accused of a crime and then he needs to answer to it – prove his innocence or confess his sin.
Past 3: What happens after?
The answer to this question is between God and the church leader. It depends on the church leader’s response and heart condition.
But answering generally, there is no sin too gruesome that God’s love can’t forgive. We have many examples of people in the Bible committing gruesome sins and God forgave them and still used them powerfully.
- We have an example in David. He committed a gruesome sin and when accused of it (2 Samuel 12), he admitted his sin and repented. God punished him and he was able to move past it.
- Peter denied God, repented and God restored him (Luke 22:31)
- Nebuchadnezzar insulted God, was punished, repented and restored (Daniel 4)
Ephesians 2:2 – 3 In which you used to walk when you conformed to the ways of this world and of the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit who is now at work in the sons of disobedience. We all lived among them at one time in the cravings of our flesh, indulging its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature children of wrath.
Oya add your name to the list! Someone of us Christians have committed deep sins but by his grace we stand!
A christian or christian leader who repents genuinely (Matthew 3:8) and takes steps to get help and change can be restored by God if he so chooses. So let’s extend grace and prayers to every church leader or person who is currently having to face up to their sins.
I hope I have done some justice to this aspect of the ongoing conversation. At least now I can jejely post my fashion pictures lol.
P.S. You can do more than just comment on social media and gist in your office. You can pray! Here are some prayer points.
- Pray for the victims of rape (Phil 4:7)
- Pray that the offender is convicted by the Holy Spirit to confess to their sins. (John 16:8)
- Pray for mercy and justice to prevail (Psalm 50:3-4)
- Pray for the redemptive grace of God to restore every broken person through rape. (Job 2:25-32)
- Pray that God by his mercy restores his leaders who have fallen (Daniel 4:34)
- Pray for the peace of the church; that nothing will hinder the free flow of the gospel in Nigeria (Eph 6:19)
- Pray for the return of Jesus Christ. (Rev 22:20)
God bless you
Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, share and subscribe to recieve further studies in your inbox.
P.P.S Follow me on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/omotayobadeoye/) to see the hot image when i finally post it *wink hehe