By Vicky Moots
Psalm 23:5b: “…thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” In Bible times olive oil was used as an agent for healing wounds and for dry skin, and in a modified manner oil is still being used today for healing. The parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:30-35 is an example of this use of oil. In v. 34 we read that the Samaritan went to the wounded man and “…bound up his wounds pouring in oil and wine…”. Shepherds would also apply oil to the wounds of their sheep and pour oil on their heads to keep the insects away from their eyes and ears.
Oil in Scripture is a type of the Holy Spirit. We are instructed by James in his epistle, which is applicable to us today, to use the anointing of oil in praying for the sick. The oil itself does not heal, even though it has some healing properties, but it is used as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. James 5:14-15: “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up…”. Our Shepherd is aware of our need for healing, both physically and spiritually, and will faithfully and freely anoint us with His oil when we call upon His name.
He will also come to us where we are, just like the Good Samaritan did, if we are too weak emotionally or too depressed to come to Him. He will pour out His oil and wine upon us and bind up our broken, wounded hearts and bring healing to our souls. David experienced this himself and tells us in Ps. 147:3 that our Shepherd will do this for any of His sheep when the need arises: “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” Why not stop what you are doing right now and call upon your Shepherd today for His healing anointing if you currently have a special need.
We also need the Holy Spirit anointing to protect our minds from the attacks of Satan and to keep our minds stayed on the Lord. Isa. 26:3 says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee…”. Have you ever noticed how easily you become distracted when you are praying, reading the Bible, or listening to a sermon? That is because Satan is attacking your mind to take your mind off of the Lord and His Word.
Paul warns us in II Cor. 10:4-5 concerning this type of spiritual warfare and tells us that we need to be “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exhalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought [take it as a prisoner of war] to the obedience of Christ.” This is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit, as our Shepherd anoints our heads with oil.
Even Jesus had His head anointed by God prior to beginning His earthly ministry. He was baptized by John the Baptist, and as He came up out of the river Jordan, the Holy Spirit (God’s anointing oil) was poured out from heaven upon Him bodily as a dove and sat upon Him.
Jesus was called “Christ,” which means “the anointed one.” Peter tells us in his sermon at the house of Cornelius, in Acts 10:38, that “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power…”. That anointing occurred at the time of His baptism, as a sign that He was, indeed, the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One sent from God.
Kings and priests were also anointed for service by having oil poured on their heads. The anointing of David as King by Samuel is a good example of this and is described in I Sam. 16:12-13: “…And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him [David]: for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward…”.
Ex. 29:5-7 describes the anointing of the high priest, Aaron, for his priestly ministry. Verses 5-6 tell us that Moses was to put the priestly garments on Aaron after he had been washed in water. Verse 7: “Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him.”
Jesus’ anointing at the time of His baptism was not only to confirm that He was the Christ, the Messiah, but also that He was to be both King and Priest. But how does that apply to us? Would you be surprised to know that God has also chosen us to serve Him as spiritual kings and priests? John reveals this to us in Rev. 1:5-6: “…Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father…”.
We are therefore anointed with the Holy Spirit, even as Jesus was anointed, for the purpose of ministering the Word of God (in word and deed) to others and to intercede for them in prayer as spiritual priests. He has also anointed us to reign in heaven with Jesus as kings to reign in life now to be overcomers and not to serve the desires of the flesh. As faithful sheep, let us yield to our Shepherd and allow Him to not only anoint our heads with His oil but to fill us to overflowing with the Holy Spirit for the purpose of ministering as kings and priests unto God and to serve others.
To be continued