This post is Day 21 in a series of studies about “Psalm 23”. I strongly suggest you begin with the introduction to this study, please click here to read it.
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Psalm 23 – Day 21
Anointing with oil has much significance. It was a sign of purity and priesthood, and used for protection and healing. As David wrote Psalm 23, he must have thought about protection from enemies and from sickness. He must have remembered being anointed as king with emotions of joy and fear.
… You anoint my head with oil;
Anointing the head with oil has much significance in the Bible. It is first mentioned in Exodus 29:7 when Moses was told by God to anoint the heads of Aaron and his sons as they were dedicated as priests to serve in the tent of Meeting. It was a sign of purity and priesthood.
We read of King David’s first experience of anointing with oil in 1 Samuel 16:13 where the prophet Samuel was told by God to anoint him as king over Israel.
In Biblical times the shepherds used to rub oil onto the heads of sheep as protection, similar to many sitting on the beaches of the world today who put oil on their skin for protection. It protects from sunburn.
But oil also protects animals from parasites. Small insects or parasites were likely to live in the ears, nose, and around the eyes of the sheep. The oil killed those things and protected the sheep from infection. In a similar way, later on in the Bible oil is a sign used to bring healing.
In James 5:14-15 we read that the sick should call for the elders of the church to anoint them with oil for healing.
Psalm 45:7 speaks of being anointed with the “oil of joy”.
As David wrote Psalm 23 he reflected on the goodness of the Lord as his personal shepherd. He must have thought about the Lord’s protection from his enemies, and protection from sickness. He must also have remembered being anointed as king with the mixed emotions of joy and fear.
Read Revelation 5 today. It gives us the the victory song of the angels singing to Jesus and describing His followers on the earth. In verse 10 we read… You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.
Rejoice in all that Jesus has for you in the future.