THE OIL OF ANOINTING
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of
righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they
comfort me. Psalm 23
The Attack: Insects only bore people, but they can kill sheep. In ancient Israel, pastors used the oil for three purposes: repelling insects, avoiding conflicts, and healing injuries. Especially in the summer, large clouds of flies, mosquitoes and other insects attack the shepherd's flocks. The flies fly around the flock trying to deposit their eggs in the nasal mucosa of the sheep to hatch them. After a few days, larvae appear, penetrating the nasal cavity and moving into the sheep's head, causing them to go into crisis and eager to get rid of this situation, they deliberately hit their heads against trees, fence posts, shrubs , or rub their heads on the floor trying to scratch themselves.
The infection can reach such an advanced stage that it can cause blindness. Furthermore, when flies start to fly over the flock they cause fear, panic and agitation, as they shake their heads up and down for hours and hours, causing them to fight, frantically flap their feet running from side to side until they reach exhaustion. This causes disturbances in the middle of the herd, as the sheep lose their good physical condition and lose weight. The breastfeeding females have their milk dried and the offspring stops growing and developing.
The Caution: So, to protect the sheep, the shepherd took a mixture of oil and anointed the sheep's head, rubbing the oil on its wool and especially around its nose, eyes and ears, anointing the whole sheep's head with oil . Thus, in this way, the sheep was able to have peace. The oil on the sheep's head is a natural repellent, and protects them from their most terrible enemies. Anointing the sheep's head with oil was something that expressed the shepherd's care and attention towards the sheep, so that there was no damage or loss, and this still happens today.
The Meaning: The fact that the shepherd anoints the sheep's head to ward off mosquitoes and other insects so that they do not torment them, entering their nostrils and ears, causing infection in their brains and leading them to death, has a spiritual teaching for us: Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, who guides us, keeps our mind and soul from the things that torment us. Anointing oil also means joy and togetherness, cfe. Isaiah 61.1-3 and Psalm. 133: 1.2.
When comparing ourselves to sheep, we can imagine the devil and demons as flies that want to "infect us" with the things of this world. Our mind becomes a battlefield where flesh and spirit constantly fight. We try to resolve conflicts in our own way, not allowing the good shepherd to put oil on our heads, which, due to the lack of consecration, causes our separation from God. Consequently, the doors to sin opens, leading us to suffering and later to serious consequences. We hit our "head against the stones" breaking the protection of our communion with God, leading us to spiritual death. Having the head anointed with oil brings us to the daily anointing of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is what makes it possible to have the fruits of the Holy Spirit, cf. Galatians. 5:22 and 23.
In writing Psalm 23, David was talking about himself, saying that the Lord was his shepherd and that he cared for him in all his needs, giving to him refreshment, food, quenching thirst, caring and comforting and also, anointing his head with the anointing oil in front of enemies, for protection. We need to believe, like David, that "The Lord is our shepherd and we will not lack anything." Jesus proves it, in Jo. 10: 11,14 when he says that: He is the good shepherd and that the good shepherd gives life for the sheep and that he knows us, as he is known to us. And therefore, when flies begin to fly over us, the good shepherd kicks in, anointing our heads constantly, because as it is written in Acts 20:28 the church was bought by the blood of Christ, when He died on the cross for our sins in our place. And according to Ecclesiastes 9: 8, we are instructed to keep our garments clean and our heads annointed. This means that we must always be in communion with God, because He is faithful to His Word (the Bible), which is a spiritual manual, for us to have a full life.
We must seek His Holy Spirit every day, in order to be guided by Him in all our ways, so our thoughts, words and attitudes will be led by Him. For us to be approved and successful both ministerially and personally, it is necessary the Holy Spirit's anointing and to meditate on God's word, which is light for our lives, cf. Psalm 119: 105. When the anointing oil is poured over our heads, it forms a protective barrier against the evil that tries to destroy us.
So, if you have been mentally tormented, have disturbing thoughts repeatedly and therefore "hit your head against the wall" trying to stop them, seek the anointing of God, the oil that protects us and allows us to preserve our hearts, minds and eyes on him ... today and always!
Let's try to keep the "flies" at bay, with the shepherd's help, so that we can be spiritually healthy, remaining strong in the faith and above all, in the Spirit. May our Good Shepherd pour the anointing oil on our heads, causing our chalice to overflow with blessings and victories, even in the midst of the crisis and chaos that we see in the world. God is good and faithful to do infinitely more than we ask or think, so that we can do His good, perfect and pleasant will. Amen!
God bless you all!