Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Oil of Joy

This morning I woke very early, after having dreams of my dog, my younger son, numerous strangers and ... snow.  Yes, it WAS what I ate just before going to bed!  My riotous stomach bore testimony.
As a remedy I anointed my body with healing oils...DigestZen and Frankincense, Purity and Lavender.  No doubt my clothes this morning smell of those healing oils, which certainly settled my rebellious innards this morning.

In looking into the next two verses of Hebrews 1, that would be verses 8 and 9, lo and behold we find a reference to the "oil of joy".  Hmmmm....take a look.

8But about the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;
a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
9You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
by anointing you with the oil of joy.”

Although I dabble in healing oils for my health's sake, my oily practices are completely different from the ceremonial anointing described here.  These verses are actually a quotation from Psalm 45:6-7

 6Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;
a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
7You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
by anointing you with the oil of joy.
8All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;

When a regent, usually a king, was appointed officially for his office, he or she was anointed with special oil, to mark and signify the occasion. (See Exodus 29:7)  In the Bible, the Holy Spirit is often pictured by oil.  You may recall the phrase "receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit".  When we become Christ's we receive the Holy Spirit, that is, we are then forever marked, forever sealed as His, forever "anointed". (1 John 2:27)

Our joyful anointing at our salvation experience is reminiscent of (and due to) Christ's greater anointing.  He is the "fullness of God", wrapped in flesh and, therefore, has always possessed God's Holy Spirit within Himself.  However, according to our bounds of Time, He was also anointed at His Baptism, when the Father spoke and the dove that represented the Holy Spirit descended.  And....

Some characterize these "anointing" verses as being fulfilled after Christ Jesus completed the earthly "work" God the Father asked Him to do.  In other words, Jesus was "set above your companions" when He ascended to Heaven.  Although it helps us to understand things in a linear, time-bound progression, and I agree with this interpretation, it has always been so.  Jesus has always been God and He has always been "above all and before all" creation.  Yes, He did "love righteousness and hate wickedness" as the God-Man, with the ultimate expression of this being His obedient death on the cross.  But, He has loved righteousness and hated wickedness, before Time and will do so forever.

As an earthly descendant of King David, Jesus was and is "the last David".  David, the Old Testament king, was promised that his line of descendants would never end (2 Samuel 7:11-17)...a pretty amazing promise, if you ask me!  Mary, Jesus's mother, was a descendant of David, which made Jesus one also, as far as His physical body was concerned.  In this way, Jesus was the fulfillment of the promise God made to King David hundreds of years before Jesus' birth.

Jesus, according to Psalm 45 and Hebrews 1, received the oil of joy from God the Father because He (Christ) had triumphed over the sin that had kept mankind enslaved since Eden.  He had finished the earthly work His Father had ordained that He do.

When we receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit, it is not to hide our spiritual treasure in a jar, or bury it in the ground, hoarding it for ourselves.  No, our gift is to be used to bring God the Father glory, as did the Son, our Savior.  When we live out our own salvation, we find ourselves "anointed" with the oil of joy, the beginnings of "well done, you good, faithful servant.  Enter into the joy of your Lord!"  (Matthew 25:23)

Father, thank you for anointing me with Your Holy Spirit and equipping me for service with spiritual gifts.  I pray to use them today for Your glory and Your good pleasure.  Thank you for being the Source of the only true joy to be found in this earthly life.  Oh, how I look forward to worshipping You forever!   In Jesus' name, amen.

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