Thursday, January 7, 2010

There can be only one!

So many times I've heard preachers quote the phrase "touch not the Lord's anointed" applying it to themselves as the anointed one. I've done it, at least in my mind. We make this application hoping to discourage/warn people against messing with us unfairly (since we see ourselves as leaders in the work of God's agenda). After all, the thought goes, it would be foolish to risk experiencing God's retaliatory justice on our behalf. There is some sense in which such an application might be extrapolated from God's word. But not as flippantly as we are prone to use it.

In 1 Chronicles 12, I believe there is a great reminder to every Christian leader who is quick to spout "touch not the Lord's anointed" in his own defense. Verses 16-22 caught my attention within the context of the whole chapter. Men came to David whom God had anointed KING while Saul was still technically in that office. They came from every tribe of Israel (even from the tribe of Saul himself) and from peoples outside Israel to "help" David and even from beyond the people of Israel. They did so because they could see that God's hand was on him and with him (v.18, etc.). They came over time "until there was a great army, like an army of God" (v.22).

As I journalled through this passage today, several things struck me:

  • God built an army to help his anointed (v.22)
  • This army was a diverse and heterogeneous group
  • I couldn't help but see a connection to Matthew 16:18 where Jesus said: "I will build my church" (emphasis mine).
  • The people of this growing army were loyal to God's anointed KING (v.18)
  • These people joined with David because they were motivated by the clear evidence of a movement of God (v.18)
But what struck me more than anything was the stark realization that I AM NOT THE LORD'S ANOINTED. I AM NOT A/THE KING. There is only one of those. The anointed was and still is God's King. Who is that? The same one for whom David is a mere foreshadowing. JESUS IS THE LORD'S ANOINTED KING. He is also the Lord of the church. My job is not to build an army of God or even an assembly (church) for Him. My job is to be loyal to Jesus, and like the mighty men who joined David, to see myself as one of his "helpers" (v.18) with him "to help him" (v.22).

No matter what position you occupy in the church, let's agree that there is only one "anointed one" and we ain't HIM!

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