“Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm” (1Ch 16:22; Ps. 105:15).
Though this Divine command is too often abused and misused, God said it twice in His Word, which is special emphasis indicating He certainly meant it! Though, of course, God always says what He means and means what He says! Thus, I would say it would be a good idea for anyone to give heed to that warning. Anytime you think God is leading you to engage in an ad hominem attack of words and/or actions or some sort of an insurrection against a genuinely anointed and appointed man of God, another good idea is to remember the fate of the company of “Korah & Sons,” who participated in a personal attack and insurrection against the man God had chosen and anointed to deliver Israel, Moses, and the principle of unintended consequences!
And Moses said, “By this you shall know that the LORD has sent me to do all these deeds; for this is not my doing. “If these men die the death of all men, or if they suffer the fate of all men, then the LORD has not sent me. “But if the LORD brings about an entirely new thing and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that is theirs, and they descend alive into Sheol, then you will understand that these men have spurned the LORD.” Then it came about as he finished speaking all these words, that the ground that was under them split open; and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who belonged to Korah, with their possessions. So they and all that belonged to them went down alive to Sheol; and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly. And all Israel who were around them fled at their outcry, for they said, “The earth may swallow us up!” Fire also came forth from the LORD and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering the incense. (Num 16:28-35)
Let me share with you just one of many illustrative stories taken from the vault of my own experiences.
Long ago, my wife and I started a business by the direction of the Lord that almost immediately became very popular and well-known in the town we lived in at the time. God prospered it and us as we applied His principles of success and prosperity, including being very generous in our giving to Him and to those in need.
One day, a few years later, a representative of a man who owned a mall in a town about thirty miles away, called to tell us about a new outside shopping mall the man was in the process of building next to the mall on a plot of previously undeveloped land he owned, which they called, “The Hill,” and that the owner was very familiar with our business, (in fact his wife frequented it, and he was very interested in having us open a new location in the new mall that was nearing completion. Over the course of a couple of months, the rep called multiple times with the intention of persuading us to take up the offer. As we prayed, I myself was not as persuaded that it was a “God thing,” than was my wife. I couldn’t explain all the reasons why, because it truly seemed like a good opportunity and one God could use to increase our business and bless us further so that we could be a greater blessing to others.
As we continued to pray about and discuss the pros and cons of the matter, the rep continued to call to ask if we were any closer to making a decision. Each time I said, closer, but not there, yet.
Finally, I said to my wife, “Tell you what, to do this we would need such-and-so amount of money to purchase additional inventory to stock the store, as well as the owner would have to underwrite the build-out of the store; if that were to somehow materialize, I will see it as a sign that God wants us to do this.”
That day, the rep called again. I candidly told him that we could handle everything required from us in terms of purchasing the equipment and furnishings for a new location, hiring/training personnel to attempt to duplicate ourselves in the operation of the new store, designing a layout for the contractor to work with for the build-out of the new store there, etc., etc., but we could not finance the build-out and did not currently have the funding to purchase the initial stock of inventory we would need. Those two things, I said, would preclude us from accepting the offer. He asked if he could call me back in a few minutes; I agreed.
Few minutes later he called back and asked if I could meet with the owner the next day at such-and-such time. Again I agreed.
Next day I went into the office of the owner at the appointed time. It was a huge, expansive office, that seemed much like a cave to me, hidden away in a subterranean level that was not even visible from the outside of the building at one end of the large mall in this North Central Florida town. It was decorated in a 19th Century-like, opulent Italian motif with huge, ornate (to me, gaudy), furnishings and appointments that I imagined how an early-20th-Century Caesar’s or mega-wealthy global business magnate’s office might look like.
The diminutive elderly Italian man stood from his desk and walked toward me with his hand outstretched as I entered his office, accompanied and introduced by the young man who was the rep I had talked to so many times. He invited me to sit down in one of the two throne-like armchairs affronting his massive darkwood desk. Speaking with a slight Italian accent, he got straight to the point, “Mr. Lambert, I want your business in my new shopping center. I think it would be an asset to our mix of businesses, as well as a good draw of customers to the mall. And, I think it will be very successful for you here in this new center. What can I do to help make that happen?”
“Well,” I said, “as I told your rep, the two things precluding the prospect right now is lack of funding for the build-out and inventory stock.” Without the slightest hesitation, he immediately responded, “We’ll do the build-out. How much do you think you need for the inventory?” I gave him the figure I felt the Lord had told me.
He rose from his chair, and said, “Would you allow me to buy your lunch where I eat most every day, accompanied by my assistant, and return here to my office when you’re finished?” The restaurant was an Italian chain in the food court of the mall, and he said, “It’s not on the menu, but tell them I said to make you the veal piccata they make for me every day.”
Since, veal piccata is my all-time favorite Italian meal, I felt the moving of the Spirit to graciously and unhesitatingly accept his offer. It was great too! After a zabiogne and double espresso for dessert, and small talk with the rep, we returned to the mall-owner’s man-cave.
Again, wasting no time, he said to me, “Mr. Lambert, if you will go to the bank right here on the property, which he named, and ask for the branch manager, he will give you a check in the amount you said you needed for inventory. Do we have a deal?”
“Uhhhh…ookkaayy, we have a deal” I replied. We shook hands again, I left the office, went to the bank, asked for the manager, and sure enough, he handed me a check in the amount I said I needed.
Over the course of a couple of months, as the build-out was being completed according to the design I laid out myself, we did all we needed to do to acquire the furnishings, carpet, equipment, hiring/training new employees, etc., etc., for our second location. When we moved in, the store was beautiful, the inventory was great, the employees were well-trained, and we set out attempting to duplicate in that location what had been so successful in our homebase location.
We had some success, but nothing near what we had experienced at the original location. There were a number of reasons for that, including that we underestimated the value of my wife and I’s involvement; we wrongly thought our contribution to the business was pretty much reproducible by anyone with certain qualifications, requisites, and the training we gave them. So some of the miscalculations were on us. We learned valuable lessons from this excursion, many more than can be shared here. But, in addition to our own over-zealous estimations, so also were those of the owner and his rep, but more critical than that was that even after more than a year from when the deal was struck, they never did produce the things they promised with respect to securing well-known and established tenants that they projected would draw lots of foot-traffic and customers to the new shopping mall. None of what they had promised ever materialized, and by and by the public image of the center steadily deteriorated. Several businesses went out of business, vacating their units. There was less and less foot-traffic with each passing day.
Finally, at the close of our second year, my wife and I agreed that we needed to close the business because it had become too much of a drain on our resources, time, effort, and energy without sufficient return on our investment. When I called and informed the rep of our decision, he was very adamant and exercised in saying that we could not do that according to the lease and proceeded to tell me in very threatening words and tones that the owner had a long-standing reputation for using every means available to him, litigation and otherwise, for exacting every dollar of lease revenue from lessees of his properties. I thanked him for the information, and told him our decision was made and not negotiable, and we would be moving out, and closing the store, which we did at the end of that year.
Over the ensuing several months, as advertised, the litigation was begun, along with repeated threatening phone calls from both the owner and his rep. I did my best to hold back my ever-increasing anger, and finally told them to do whatever they wanted, and stopped taking their phone calls. We were served with papers, and a court date was set. We prayed and prayed about what we should do, and if we needed to spend the money to hire an attorney.
About a month before the scheduled court date, the Lord woke me up at 3:00 A.M., the time he often chooses to awaken me when he has something prophetic to speak to me. He told me in very stern terms, “I want you to call this man tomorrow, and tell him this….” At the end of it, He said, “And, I’ll be your defense attorney; you won’t need another!” The sternness of His voice and the sharpness of the words He gave me to say to the man, shook me to my core, but I knew without a shadow of a doubt it was God speaking to me.”
As He told me, I called the man the next day. I said exactly the words the Lord had given me to say:
“Sir, I know you don’t know this, because I’ve never told you, and I also know you will not accept or believe one word I say, but God Almighty woke me up last night and told me to tell you that He is giving you one last opportunity to listen to what He’s told you three times now, the last time being last night in your sleep, that if you do not drop this lawsuit there will be grave consequences for you, because this man who is speaking to you is not just an ordinary man, he’s one of my prophets, and I said in My Word TWICE, ‘Touch not My anointed ones, and do My prophets NO HARM!”
Then, I said, Sir, I believe God, and that these were the words He told me to speak to you; if I were you, I’d do what He says.” And, I hung up the phone.
About three weeks later, we had not heard a thing from the man, and I got a phone call from one of my former employees who lived in an apartment complex right behind “The Hill,” which was also owned by the mall-owner. She said, “Dr. Lambert, you heard about it, right?”
I said, “Heard about what? No, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
She snapped back, “Well, it was on the news, thought sure you had seen it! You know all those torrential rains we’ve had over the last three weeks and they’ve been talking about on the weather and news?”
“Yes,” I replied, wonderingly.
“Well, all that rain caused a huge sink-hole under ‘The Hill’ – the ground opened up and swallowed half the hill and the entire one semi-circle of building that your store was in! Your store and half of the shopping center is GONE! It’s 50 to 100 feet down in the sink-hole! Can you believe it?!”
I paused a few moments to absorb what she had just said, then, finally, I responded in an even tone, “Well, to tell you the truth, and you will find this hard to believe, but, yes, I CAN believe it; we serve an AWESOME and MIGHTY God! Thank you for calling.”
I hung up the phone, told my wife the news, and we had a shoutin’, laughin’, rejoicin’, and dancin’ hoedown for about two hours until we had no more strength and fell into bed exhausted that night!
We never heard from the man, his rep, or his attorneys again. I guess if you don’t have a building any more, it’s pretty much, “CASE CLOSED,” as far as any lawsuits are concerned!
“Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm!” (1Ch 16:22; Ps. 105:15). This story illustrated to me just how much God means what He says concerning not opposing and doing anything to come against one of God’s chosen, anointed, and appointed prophets to harm them in any way. As I said, I know how abused and misused this scripture is by men, especially those trying to excuse or justify their wrongful actions and conduct. But, we must always bear in mind that what man does with God’s Word does not alter or detract from the fact that He means what He says and says what He means! And no matter how often a scripture is cited or overly-used, God’s Word is never a meaningless cliché, for, “The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever” (Isa 40:8).
It’s just not wise to “tempt God,” for as Korah and the entire several generations of his lineage along with 250 leaders of the congregation, “men of renown,” found out when they engaged in a rebellion against Moses, whereby the ground opened up and swallowed Korah and his family followed by fire of the Lord coming down and burning up the 250 leaders, doing so can result in some very unusual and harsh unintended (by you) consequences, orchestrated by God Himself! Note that this wasn’t the devil doing this to bring judgment against these rebels, it was GOD!
That’s the moral of that story, as well as mine. But the other moral is that, we serve an AWESOME and MIGHTY God, who takes care of His people, leaders and laymen alike! He is their defense attorney who will but put all their trust in Him to save and deliver them…from the guttermost to the uttermost! Vengeance is Mine, sayeth the Lord!
We never have to take up our own cause and enact a plan of vengeance against our enemies; God will always do a much better job of that than we could ever even conjure up! I know that’s true from personal experience, and this one story I shared is just one of many wherein the Lord was my defender and justifier!
Won’t you believe and trust Him thoroughly in whatever troubles, trials, and tribulations you are going through today? The battle might have been long, and you might feel like your defeated, and that you have no means left by which to fight back enough to regain your feet, but if you’ll just simply “let go and let God,” give it entirely to Him, abandoning any thought of defending yourself or overcoming the vicious assaults of the enemy in your own strength and power and resources….I PROMISE YOU, GOD WILL NOT FAIL YOU! He never has and never will!
As King David, who’d led the armies of Israel in a multitude of battles against ferocious armies that exponentially outnumbered them, extolled, “Not ONE WORD of all His good promises have ever failed!” Claim this declaration from the Lord for yourself right now: “You shall not have to fight in this battle, for the battle IS THE LORD’S!”
Darkness may endure for the night, beloved, but JOY cometh with the morning light!
HALLELUJAH! Keep believing, dear saint, you will eventually be VICTORIOUS if you keep on believing, for He has already called us, “SUPER-CONQUERORS!