“thou anointest my head with oil; ” Psalm 23:5 KJV
A good acronym for anointing is C.A.R.E.
The truth is, the idea of biblical anointing is lost on most western Christians, even among those of us who practice anointing. Usually when I anoint a person at the altar I tip the bottle onto my finger, wet it and use my thumb or forefinger to paint a little oil cross on the forehead of the anointee. It’s nice. It’s sweet. It’s comforting. It’s so NOT the picture of biblical anointing! In the Old Testament (which perspective David was writing from) when a person was anointed it looked something like this:
“Dress Aaron in his priestly garments—the tunic, the robe worn with the ephod, the ephod itself, and the chestpiece. Then wrap the decorative sash of the ephod around him. Place the turban on his head, and fasten the sacred medallion to the turban. Then anoint him by pouring the anointing oil over his head. ” Ex. 29:5-7 NLT
Please note first that the anointing oil was not dabbed, sprinkled or even splashed on Aaron. It was poured. The word used here for poured means “poured out” or “emptied”. Some say Aaron was anointed with a hin (8 quarts) of oil. We know, according to Psalm 133:2 that it was at least enough to cause his beard to become saturated and drip with the oil.
Second please take note that Aaron was not wearing Fruit of the Loom, Boxer Joes, BVD’s, or a swim suit for this anointing. He was fully dressed in all his High Priestly regalia.
With this picture in mind we are led to the C of our anointing acronym, C.A.R.E.. The anointing complicates things. It may seem a bummer way to kick off this part of the study but it has to be acknowledged that in a world fallen so deep into sin the anointing call of God though wonderful is messy and costly and complicated.
Aaron got anointed and went straight from the goo of the oil to the grumbling of the Israelites. Aaron got anointed; Then while he ministered in the tabernacle, God killed two of the priest’s sons for their sin and commanded Aaron not to grieve. How’s that for complication? How did Aaron explain that one to his wife?
My experience is that most people are all hyped up about being anointed until they get anointed and life gets complicated. The price of anointing in this world is high. Sometimes it causes our valleys of shadow. Sometimes it creates enemies for us; But the pay off is far higher for those who get past the devastation of complication. Anointing does not make for smooth sailing but if you can get past the wind and the waves the journey is well worth it!
Maybe you have been anointed by God for a work and you have been thrown off kilter by complications the anointing has brought. Tell me about it. Tomorrow we will talk about why we truly crave the anointing even with its complications.
Tomorrow: the anointing assures!