“You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God , your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.”
Our sermon this Sunday was exploring the second last Psalm (133) in the series known as the The Songs Of Ascents. I felt our young minister would expound on the first verse about brothers living together in unity, and of course he did, but then he surprised me by an in-depth look at the reference to the anointing of Aaron by the precious oil.
“It is like the precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes.” (Psalm 133:2)
This precious and expensive oil was not just a sprinkle on the top of the head, it was a real soaking of head and beard even running down over Aaron’s clothing and because of the ingredients, myrrh, cinnamon, fragrant cane, cassia and olive oil (Exodus 30:23 – 25) the recipient was left surrounded by an exquisite aroma.
This ceremony was originally reserved for priests serving in the temple, and perhaps we might have overlooked the incredible privilege we have been granted through Our Saviour, that we too are now considered to be part of a royal priesthood and so too become recipients of this anointing, so joy and gladness envelope our very being.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
The writer of Hebrews writes to assure the new believers that they have this anointing
“You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” (Hebrews 1:9)
Firstly we can reach out to those who are poor in spirit who do not know the Lord. We can bind up the broken hearted, we can help those trapped by fear and evil and bring them freedom from that darkness, we can comfort those who grieve, we can bring beauty instead of ashes for those who are mourning we can bring praise instead of despair into a desperate situation (Isaiah 61:1- 3).
Being anointed gives one a sense of authority. We don’t have to ask, “What can I do to help?” We have been commissioned by the Holy Spirit to act as one of Christ’s ambassadors and bring with us joy and gladness for those around us who most need it. The other great benefit is for ourselves when we go through turbulent times, we can draw on that same anointing oil to ease our pain. The fragrance of knowing our Lord and Saviour spreads through our lives blessing us and others.
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him, For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” (2 Corinthians 2:14 – 15)