“You anoint my head with oil.” Psalm 23:5
It had been an emotional, exhausting day, but David felt like a new man after resting and eating. He couldn’t neglect his physical needs even during a tumultuous time. Although his dire circumstances didn’t change, David was able to find refreshment for his soul as he felt God’s welcoming presence, His joyful presence, and His healing presence — an anointing.
I’m glad we don’t anoint our heads with oil anymore.
Greasy, stringy hair is not a good look for me.
But it was big in Bible times.
Kings were anointed with oil at their coronations. (2 Sam. 5:3)
Priests were anointed with oil when consecrated for ministry. (Lev. 8:30)
Oil was used to heal sick people. (James 5:14)
It was applied to open wounds. (Luke 10:34)
Oil was a symbol of joy. (Isaiah 61:3; Hebrews 1:9)
Oil was used in lamps to provide light. (Matt. 25:3-4)
A good host always provided oil for guests’ heads. (Luke 7:46)
Solomon really liked his wife’s perfumed oils. (Song of Solomon 4:10)
Jesus was anointed by Mary and He called it “a beautiful thing.” (Mark 14:6)
The oil of anointing is symbolic of the Holy Spirit’s presence. (Luke 4:18)
Jesus’ very name (“Christ”) means “Anointed One”.
My current favorite reference to oil in the Bible is in Matthew 6.
“But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face.” (Matt. 6:17)
“When you practice some appetite-denying discipline to better concentrate on God, don’t make a production out of it. It might turn you into a small-time celebrity but it won’t make you a saint. If you ‘go into training’ inwardly, act normal outwardly. Shampoo and comb your hair, brush your teeth, wash your face.” (Message)
That’s a good word for me today.
These are difficult days, but as long as I stay healthy,
I don’t need to look like a bedraggled, slipshod saint.
Since we are all on a forced “fast” from normal life for a while yet,
let’s not forget to brush our teeth and wash our faces.
Perhaps use a little hairspray.
Maybe even dab on a smidge of perfume.
Ask for a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit.
“Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” Matt. 6:18