Thou anointest my head with oil.
David, who authored the 23rd Psalm, was in his youth a shepherd. And part of his job was to keep his flock healthy and safe; thus the anointing. Shepherds would anoint their sheep for three reasons. Oil was used to cover the head, in particular, the nose of the sheep to repel insects. The worm-like larvae of nose flies would cause the sheep to butt their heads against stones, posts, or brush to relieve the aggravation. In extreme cases, sheep would throw themselves off cliffs. Secondly, the rams during mating season would become rather rambunctious. Forgive the pun! To prevent injury, the shepherd would apply oil to the rams’ heads and allow the rams to glance off the sheep. Thirdly, the shepherd would apply oil to a wound to prevent infection.
In order to be anointed, the sheep must stand still, lower their heads, and allow the shepherd to do his work. Peter urges us to “be humble under God’s powerful hand so that He will lift you up when the right time comes” (1 Peter 5:6). Whether you need relief from aggravations, relationships mended, or a healing balm, our Shepherd stands ready with a cup for anointing. Won’t you bow your head and receive His blessing? Linda