Something Don’d on Me! 7-10-19

“You anoint my head with oil…” Psalm 23:5

As we have been exploring The Shepherd’s Psalm (Psalm 23), I’ve been looking forward to THIS part of the poem: “anoint my head with oil.” It’s fascinating to see how IMPORTANT olive oil is in the Hebrew culture and in that land! The olives are pressed THREE times (Jesus prayed in the garden three times as He was being “pressed” under the weight of our sin) and they use ALL of the olive, even the leftover parts to start fires and bless the land.
            Oil itself is mentioned ALL throughout the Bible-well over 200 times! But the idea of ANOINTING is used powerfully! When Samuel anointed the Shepherd David and said he would be King, they all knew that he was something special and set apart for the work of God! In ancient times, it was often customary to bless guests that came to eat with you. (Last week- “prepare a table before my enemies”) When they would arrive, the host would often have the guest’s feet washed and place oil, mixed with spices on their heads. As the evening wore on, the oil would trickle down their necks, cool the guests and often would release a pleasant fragrance!
            But oil is ALSO valuable to the Shepherd! In the book A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23, the author tells that many times the sheep would have to deal with the “Nose Fly” and other insects. They would try to get around the nasal passages of the sheep and lay eggs there. The sheep would go crazy when this happened-stomping their feet, jumping around, even running headfirst into rocks! At the first sight of these flies, they would apply an oil liniment to their heads.What an incredible transformation this would make among the sheep! Once the oil had been applied to the sheep’s head, there was an immediate change in behavior. Gone was the aggravation and frenzy…instead, the sheep would start to feed quietly again, then soon lie down in peaceful contentment.” (p.116-Phillip Keller)
            I hope you see the practical applications to the metaphor there! When oil is mentioned, it often is referencing the Holy Spirit-the Presence of Almighty God! When the Psalmist says that the Good Shepherd anoints our head with oil, He is filling us-POURING OVER US-His presence!! His presence brings peace, brings sweet aromas, and brings a cooling to our souls!
            Are there times when things buzz around you and BUG YOU? Life has a way of making us “Frenzied” and “Frustrated” …just like the sheep that are being bugged by the flies! And often, those “bugs” will take us AWAY from a Christ-like attitude! (Can anyone say “Bad Drivers” or having to go to the DMV?)When the Shepherd anoints us with oil, He is pouring HIS PRESENCE on us, to combat the “Pests”! He prepares a table for us even when enemies are around! He leads us through the VALLEY of the shadow of death, so we know the sun is shining somewhere! And He anoints us with HIMSELF…so we don’t have to face the bothers of life alone!
            Is life PESTERING you? Maybe you need an anointing! Take a moment to SOAK in His Presence! Smell the sweet aroma of His love all over you! Breathe in the scent of His Protection! And let His anointing soothe your soul!

Shalom Alachiem-PEACE Be Unto You All
Don