We have seen how God provides, comforts, guides and revives our soul.
There is so much in this Psalm that is worthy of our time and study.
Today we want to better understand what the psalmist meant when he said, “You have anointed my head with oil, my cup over flows.”Psalms 23:5 (NAS)
To anoint is to sprinkle, pour or to rub in, at least from Webster’s definition.
Each year during the summer the sheep are tormented by insects. The sheep have no defense from these pesky flies and parasites. The shepherd has to take great care to keep the different flies and parasites from torturing the sheep. When the sheep are not properly cared for, the parasites will cause such agony that they will do almost anything to get relief including beating their head on the ground, rubbing the noses and other frenzy behaviors that cause panic in the entire flock.
The shepherd must watch carefully for the first sign of flies among the flock. The remedy, rubbing an anointment on the head of each sheep. Once the oil is applied the sheep can then calm down and rest.
As Christians, we also find ourselves surrounded by the things of this world that cause stress and leads to our destruction. It is those temptations, compromises, idols, worries and cares of this world that eat away at our souls leaving us tormented. Many times for us it is our own pride that stumbles us up causing unrest. We have the Savior’s anointing oil to stop the chaos. It is the gift Jesus gave when He ascended and returned to prepare a place for His bride. The gift of the Holy Spirit was sent to be that soothing oil which calms, comforts and guides us. When we choose to follow Christ, the Anointed One, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us. It is through the Holy Spirit that we are empowered to do God’s will and live the Christian life.
But we need to access that power through the renewing of our minds. It is in the study of God’s Word and prayer that we grow in Christ. It is a “setting apart” for the kingdom purpose God has for each believer.
In the Old Testament, the anointing was a celebration to “set apart” someone or something for special use by God. When we become followers of Christ we are set apart. In Strong’s Hebrew dictionary the word is “dashen”. It means to make fat or to prosper. When the oil of the Holy Spirit is poured out or release in our lives, He will prosper whatever He has called us to do. We have no power to do God’s work without the anointing of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Our response is to apply the Word of God daily and let the refreshing work of the “oil of gladness” wash us daily.
Jesus was anointed by God to redeem man. From Isaiah 61:1-3 we read, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”
Because of Jesus sacrifice, He gives us the oil of gladness instead of mourning.
We are to be the sweet aroma of Jesus to the world. The oil of anointing in the Old Testament had a fragrant aroma that would be a sign to those in his presence that the person was special or set apart for God’s purpose. We are to be His vessels, his fragrance to the world. We are set apart to bind up the brokenhearted, to comfort all who mourn. We are to be a planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.
Verse 6 of Isaiah 61 says, “But you will be called the priests of the LORD; you will be spoken of as ministers of our God.”
The psalmist in Psalms 23 concludes the verse by saying,”My cup overflows.” When we walk in the Spirit of Christ and His anointing, our cup overflows. Our joy strengthens us and we overcome the world because “greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.” I John 4:4 (King James Version)
To be free of the entanglements, pests or fiery darts the enemy sends our way, we must remain in close relationship with the shepherd. The Good Shepherd wants to care for His sheep. He wants to anoint our heads with oil. He wants our cup to overflow.
Will you allow the Holy Spirit to anoint your life? Christ, the anointed one, is ready to anoint each of us into service for Him.