As a shepherd, David would have made sure his sheep and other livestock were well-oiled especially about the head, with a mixture of oil and spices, to prevent fly-born disease, and parasite infestation, the consequences of which could sometimes be deadly. Humans need a similar protection – the Evil One wants to infect our thinking with doubt, fear, grumbling, self-pity - and a host of other negative thoughts - all of which destroy faith. The remedy is to be coated with Holy-Spirit protection & to align our thinking (and speaking) with Him.
Oil was also used as a means of soothing the skin exposed to the fierce heat and sand irritations encountered in everyday life. Perhaps these are not practical issues for most of us, but our days are often filled with other irritants; things that go wrong, comments that hurt, old insecurities that rise up, misunderstandings & quarrels, workaday frustrations. We need to be smeared with the Holy Spirit so that these barbs slide off us, rather than penetrating our souls and making festering sores. And we also need to allow Him to comfort and refresh us, to soothe away the bumps & bruises which come from just being alive.
A third way oil was used throughout the ancient world, (not just in Israel), was on the heads of guests as a mark of honour; a blessing or benediction on those invited to a feast. The word for ‘anoint’ in this psalm means to ‘make or pronounce fat’. Taking its imagery from a stockman’s success which was seen in the raising of fat animals, ‘fatness’ is used figuratively in the Bible of prosperity, particularly that which comes from the Lord’s blessing.
So when David talks about being anointed at the Lord’s feast, he is not only talking about Holy-Spirit protection and comfort, he is saying, ‘You have invited me to a feast where I am guest of honour; and You have pronounced or released ‘fatness’ over me!’
Remember this feast is prepared in the face of the enemy? (See last post). Isaiah says the adversary's yoke will be destroyed by the anointing [Isaiah 10:27 KJV]. And the word used for 'anointing' is this one here 'made fat'! Receiving the 'fatness' the Lord wants to release over us has far-reaching consequences....
Several times the Bible refers to the ‘oil of joy’ or ‘oil of gladness’[Psalm 45:7, Isaiah 61:3, Hebrews 1:9]. Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit, and a particular characteristic of the kingdom of God [Romans 14:17]. As we allow the Lord to smear us with the oil of His Spirit we can expect not only healing balm and His blessing released in our lives, but His joy to flow over us as we take in the feast set before us at the King's table.
Let’s take some time out to declare these amazing truths over ourselves:
- The Holy Spirit offers to protect me from the attacks of the Evil One
- I will align my thinking and speaking with Him
- The Holy Spirit comforts and refreshes me
- I am invited to the Lord’s feast
- He has released blessing over me
- His blessing in my life destroys every evil yoke
- The Holy Spirit pours over me the oil of joy
Most readers seem to prefer to get in touch direct, using the 'Get in Touch!' buttons. However, one or two people have recently indicated they would like the facility to publicly comment under posts, so I have re-opened the public comment option - please feel free to add your thoughts.
The private 'Get in Touch!' option remains the same - please do, I love hearing from people......
[**Photo credits: Roberta Sorge, with thanks]
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