But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can stretch out his hand against the LORD’S anointed and be without guilt?”
1 Samuel 26:9
The story of David being pursued by Saul is a familiar one to me. David is anointed king over Israel while Saul is still on the throne and Saul tries to thwart God’s plan by attempting to kill David. Not the brightest plan anyone has ever had. On multiple occasions, David is in a position to kill Saul and end the chase, but David refuses to do so. This morning’s verse sums up why.
David was mindful of something that others seemed to have forgotten: Saul had been anointed king, too. David had not been told, explicitly, anywhere in the book of Samuel when or how God was going to put him (David) on the throne. Only that it was going to happen. Lots of people would have tried to take matters into their own hands, but David waits for God to handle His business.
A descendant of David, one Jesus by name, would be nailed to a cross and ask that the guilt of His executioners not be imputed to them because they didn’t know any better. Those Roman soldiers did not know that they were [stretching] out their hands against the LORD’s Anointed (Messiah/Christ means anointed one) and Jesus makes note of that in saying that they do not know what they’re doing. As far as those soldiers were concerned, they were just executing another convict; just following orders. But David had pronounced that no one could do what they were doing and be guiltless. So Jesus asks that they be forgiven.
What about me? Am I stretching out my hand against the LORD’s Anointed? It’s possible. I can put Him to open shame by claiming His name then living in a way that is not in harmony with what He teaches. If I am obedient, then my hand is not stretched out against Him. But my disobedience is just that: stretching out my hand against Him. I do Him harm; I wound Him; I mar His image when I do not live as He commands me. To be obedient is to be guiltless.