Scripture for the day: "But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil." – Psalm 92:10 (KJV)
In Ecclesiastes 9:8, the preacher admonishes that; "Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head." Similarly, the Psalmist said concerning the Lord that; "…thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over." (Psalms 23:5) Tradition holds it that, the origin of anointing with oil was from an ancient practice of shepherds who smeared oil on the head of their sheep. This was because lice and other insects would often get into the wool of the sheep and make their way towards the head of the sheep. The insects could burrow into the sheep’s ear and create discomfort, imbalances and ultimately death to the sheep. Shepherds poured oil on the head of the sheep to make their wool slippery, and thus making it impossible for the insects to get near the sheep’s ear because the insects would slide off. From this practice, anointing with oil became symbolic of blessing, protection and empowerment. The Apostle James, who happened to be the brother of Jesus, still admonishes shepherds to anoint their sheep in the church with the following instructions; "Is anyone among you sick? 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…" (James 5:14-15). The emphasis of our scripture reading for today is the fact that the Lord anoints us not just with stale but rather "fresh oil." This points us to the fact that the oil that comes from His presence brings us a refreshing.
In Moses’s day, God instructed him to consecrate Aaron the High Priest and his sons by anointing them with oil. The candlelights in the Jewish Tabernacle and Temples were also sustained by oil. Subsequently, Priests, Kings and Prophets called by God were all anointed with oil to set them apart and make them unique with respect to the office that they had been called to. In very simple words, our subject matter for today’s devotional is the anointing. In an introduction to the book "The Oil of his presence" by John Tetsola, the writer had this to say; "We are living in an age that demands that we must have God’s power to survive and that power is released through the manifestation of the anointing. The anointing is the oil of God that flows from His presence. It is the overflowing of the divine life, which has been consecrated, and set apart to effectively impart the light, life and fragrance of God’s Word into the lives of others. The anointing is the expression of God’s supernatural power to carry out what is being done." What set Jesus Christ apart and made Him unique in His ministry was the anointing that was upon His life as a man. The Gospel according to John tells us that the Spirit was given to Him without measure. It is important to understand that the term ‘Christ’ is not the surname of Jesus like we have in western civilization and most cultures. Rather ‘Christ’ is a title meaning ‘the anointed one’ and it designates Him as the Messiah. Old Testament prophesies that anticipated the advent of Jesus, all spoke about the Spirit or the anointing that was going to be upon His life. We understand from Isaiah 61, that it was by virtue of the anointing that He preached the good news to the meek, comforted the brokenhearted and proclaimed liberty to the captives.
In the book of revelation, the Church of Laodicea is admonished to anoint their eyes with eye salve in order that they may see. The anointing upon the life of a man will cause him to see what others do not see. Opportunities and potential that are not immediately evident to others will come to the attention of the one whose eyes are anointed. Samuel saw a King in David when all his father and brothers could see was a shepherd boy. Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit and the horn represents power. In our day and age, we need the oil of His presence to exhibit the power of God and proclaim the Gospel. The one thing that will set the Church apart from the world and empower us to be witnesses of Christ is the refreshing oil of His presence. May this continually be our portion, at the Oasis.
Memory verse: "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." – Acts 10:38 (KJV)
Pastor Charles Amaning
Resident Pastor, Christ’s Oasis Ministries