Sunday, May 18, 2008

Olive Oil

Our Pastor Dennis taught from Psalm 23 during Sunday School. One dear lady asked about the anointing the head with oil---was it an honor? Or, was it for medicinal purposes?

This afternoon, my ear was itching, and I remembered what the lady at the health food store said about olive oil in the ears for ear infections. I put a few drops in my ear, and drifted off to sleep for a nice Sunday afternoon nap.

I still had about a tablespoon left in the tiny cup I used to facilitate the glass dropper, so I put some on my scalp. It made me wonder, that to anoint someone on the head with oil, it would drip down and stain your clothing. You’d be a walking billboard for either being a sloppy eater, or having recently received an honor.

It feels good on the scalp, and awakens curls. So how about my dry hands and callouses? Sure enough—seems to smooth those, too. I had switched to cooking with only olive oil years ago. And one of my favorite restaurants serves fresh crusty bread with fresh herbs in olive oil.

But, what does the Bible say about oil? Quickverse denotes that the word oil appears 214 times in 199 verses. Lets look at a few.

Genesis 28:18 We find Jacob pouring oil on a rock he had just used as a pillow. We need to back up a few verses and see that Jacob is on a quest to get a wife from his mother’s relatives. Jacob has a dream where he sees a ladder with angels ascending and descending on it. And the Lord promises to give him the land on which you lie. God says He will give Jacob and his numerous descendants the land He promised Abraham and Isaac. “…And in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And behold I am with you, and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land, for I will not leave you until I have done what I promised you.” Jacob gets up and proclaims, “How awesome is this place!” And he pours oil on the rock that was his pillow, and makes a vow. So, he must have been carrying oil with him. Oil to make bread?

Exodus 25:6 Talks about oil for lighting, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense in the making of the tabernacle.

Exodus 27:20 They were to bring clear oil of beaten olives for the light in a lamp that was to burn continually in the tabernacle.

Exodus 29:2 oil for one of the ingredients in unleavened cakes and unleavened bread and unleavened wafers spread with oil and verse 7, anointing oil to be poured on Aaron’s head. And in verse 21, anointing oil and blood from the altar consecrates Aaron and his sons’ and their garments.

Exodus 30:25, 31 Talk about a holy anointing oil that was not to be used except for tabernacle worship.

Lev. 10:7 Aaron was warned about what he could and could not do when the Lord’s anointing oil was upon him.

Moses gave specific instructions about eating and drinking, and activities verses ten and eleven says, “and so as to make a distinction between the holy and the profane, and between the unclean and the clean, and so as to teach the sons of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them through Moses.”

Even in Moses’ dying words, he mentions oil. And then Moses says: “Blessed are you, O Israel, who is like you, a people saved by the Lord, who is the shield of your help, and the sword of your majesty!” (Deuteronomy 33)

Samuel took a flask of oil, and poured it on Saul’s head in 1 Samuel 10 but on David’s head in 1 Samuel 16 as the Lord commanded him in Bethlehem.

“Fill your horn with oil, and go…” “…now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the Lord said: arise, anoint him, for this is he. Then Samuel too the horn of oil and anointed him…and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward…”

1 Kings 17:12 But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have not bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar…” But Elijah promises her that her bowl of flour and jar of oil shall not be exhausted. A miracle which kept them alive.

2 Kings 4:2 Elisha turns one jar of oil into many vessels of oil so that a widow could sell the oil to pay her debts.

Two different stories of widows, but oil permeates both.

Psalm 45:7 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated wickedness, therefore God, Thy God has anointed Thee with the oil of joy above Thy fellows.

Isaiah 61:3 …the oil of gladness instead of mourning…

Matthew 25 oil for lamps for light for foolish and prudent.

Luke 7:46 Jesus says: You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume…

What does an olive oil lamp smell like?


Bob said...

"What does an olive oil lamp smell like?" Should I tell it or would you like to?

joyce said...

Did I scare you, dear, when I pulled out a wick, bent a metal paper clip and poured olive oil in a little glass mug? You had no idea I was on my eighth google page on oil lamps. And amazingly, it was a bright flame, not much heat, and no odor. One site suggested using an old cotton sock as a wick. Maybe that would have an odor.

Bob said...

No, you didn't scare me, dear -- you just always amaze me.