How in the world did David manage to defeat Goliath on the field of battle? In one of history’s most celebrated underdog victories...young David courageously challenged the gigantic Philistine warrior and proceeded to not only bring him crashing to the ground...but to decapitate him as well! Yes, David overcame overwhelming odds in his resounding triumph over the menacing Philistine giant. It was doubtlessly clear to onlookers, in general, that David was anointed, protected and empowered by the God of Israel...that same God who states in 1 Chronicles 16:22, “...touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.”
These same words of divine warning and authority are reiterated in Psalm 105:15. Indeed, there is nothing more dangerous and even life threatening, than to exercise willful and determined opposition to the God who spoke the universe into existence. As Exodus 34:14 says, “For thou shalt worship no other God: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”
Contrary to the modern, politically correct portrayal of the God of scripture, he is actually most stern and exacting in the manner he chooses to deal with sinful, rebellious man. Of course, Jesus exhibits these very characteristics in John 2:14-16 wherein we read the exciting account of his driving the money changers from the temple with a whip.
Additionally, we read in Luke 19:27 where Jesus issues the instruction, “but those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.” Yes...even a mediocre Bible student should be able to easily ascertain that the God of scripture and of our stalwart, resolute forefathers...is not a God to be trifled with! Goliath, and countless other heathens and rebels, have been taught this lesson unto death on repeated historical occasions. And yet...it would seem that men today are more oblivious than ever as to the meaning of the words, “touch not mine anointed.”
Imperfect...Yet Chosen and Anointed Nonetheless
It is all too typical in the unfolding of God’s plan for the ages that his chosen servants are vehemently resented and opposed by those who should know better than to indulge in such dangerous folly! The fate of Goliath was only the beginning of the human carnage that followed in the wake of the outworking of David’s calling in the service of his covenant God.
The Israelite King Saul met his ultimate violent demise as a direct result of his rebellion against the God of his fathers. A significant component of that dreadful process of judgment was directly linked to Saul’s mistreatment and hostility toward the very one whom God had anointed to take the place of Israel’s first earthly monarch. Yes...Saul and many others that wound up on the receiving end of God’s harsh retribution should have certainly known better than to persecute and come against David. His failings and imperfections notwithstanding, he unmistakably bore the markings of authenticity in his assertion of the claim to being God’s special emissary and servant.
In Numbers 16 we read another astonishing account of how God metes out lethal judgment upon those who engage in subversive and potentially injurious machinations against his anointed servant. In this instance, Moses is being questioned, condemned and falsely accused by no less than “two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown:” (Numbers 16:2). As the chapter unfolds God responds to this rebellion against Moses by consuming these men with fire and swallowing up their homes and families into the bowels of the earth! And then...in an incomprehensible manifestation of stiff necked pride and blindness, the congregation at large proceeded to murmur against Moses and Aaron...levying accusations to the effect that God’s anointed and chosen servants had actually “...killed the people of the Lord” (verse 41). God’s response to this brazen affront was to unleash a plague that subsequently took the lives of 14,700 Israelites...a number that was dramatically mitigated by hasty ceremonial action designed to make an atonement for the people. “And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people.” (Verse 47.)
In another gripping and sobering account from 2 Kings 2, we read once again of the perils inherent in coming against an anointed and chosen servant of Almighty God, which in this situation was Elisha. Verses 23 and 24 render the following account. “And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord, and there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.”
Please understand, dear reader, that this is serious business of the highest order! He who is both immortal and invisible...without beginning or end...who spoke matter into existence and framed the foundations of the earth...this magnificent and mighty God has purposed in his sovereign capacity to work through feeble, mortal men relative to the outworking of his perfect will in the affairs of this world and its unfolding history.
Those who are singled out and called to be special servants of Israel’s God have a corresponding mantle of protection upon their lives. The word of God clearly reveals and establishes the immense danger and potential injury that accrue to those who choose to make themselves the opponent, or in some cases even the mere critic, of the Lord’s anointed! The results can very well be deadly!
While we certainly haven’t exhausted what Scripture has to say regarding this subject, we have looked at three specific examples of dramatic favor and intervention being bestowed by Almighty God upon his servants Moses, David, and Elisha. These accounts are provided, in part, as a grim and sobering warning to those in our present hour of history who would dare mock the God of Scripture via the exhibition of opposition and hostility toward a contemporary individual who might be called to stand boldly and unwaveringly in defense of truth, righteousness, and justice.
In subsequent installments of this series it will be our objective to provide actual present-day case histories that seemingly conform to the common pathology of the phenomenon that is being addressed. In so doing, it is hoped that the reader can receive instruction, inspiration, and admonition...according to their own specific need.