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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why Oil?

Just like straightening up my bedroom when the dust bunnies come to visit and sorting socks when they are over flowing out of the bin, I have another unusual habit you may be interested in. For my neighbors, its probably the epitome of Christian weirdness. Every so often, when I have it on my heart, I anoint my property or house with oil. Now if I lived on a city block, it would look strange, but people could probably accept the kooky behavior. The problem is that our property is located in a very steep section of the Rocky Mountains. Faithful to my convictions, I still climb up and down the boundaries of our property and sprinkle a little oil along the borders here and there. I haven't seen any mountain goats keeping me company as I entertain my pilgrimage, though I haven't had anybody offer to join me either. I, alone, entertain this ancient tradition.
One day, my son, Art Dog asked me what I was doing. I told him. Then he asked me "why?". I wondered it myself. Its just something that I've always done. I really didn't understand why I was doing it to be honest. I just knew it was something that I felt I should within my own personal convictions.
This got me to thinking. If I'm going to do something as bizarre as sprinkling oil around the borders of my property, or dumping it on my kids heads, or smearing some on the wood stove, perhaps I ought to have a solid conclusion as to the origin of my behavior. This would be especially helpful if I was ever questioned for my psychiatric well being.
I went about researching the uses of oil in Biblical times.

Often times, oil was used in the place of dedication, consecration, and as symbol of the Holy Spirit.

Numbers 7
Offerings of the Leaders
1 Now it came to pass, when Moses had finished setting up the tabernacle, that he anointed it and consecrated it and all its furnishings, and the altar and all its utensils; so he anointed them and consecrated them.

It was used on property and people as well.

Lev 12 And he poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him, to consecrate him.

It was associated with the blessing of God

Psalm 23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.

It was associated with Supernatural Healing

James 5:14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.

Freedom from Depression

Isaiah 61:3
and provide for those who grieve in Zion to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

It was associated with a Spiritual Awakening

18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

When I anoint our house or property, I think of it as asking God for His Supernatural Protection. The closest thing I can find on a scriptural basis to this is where they anointed Lambs Blood to the top and sides of the door frames in Exodus 12 as a way of protection from a destructive plague that ravaged the Egyptians. Of course I would REALLY look weird sprinkling blood around my property, on my kids and house. I would probably have to call a shrink on myself in that case scripture or no scripture.

In conclusion, I would have to say that anointing (or consecrating) property, people and the like with oil is certainly scriptural and a good idea in general. Its a physical thing we can do to demonstrate our faith that God is going to work in a certain area of our lives.

Since the Holy Spirit is also associated with Oil,

1 Samuel 16:13
So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power. Samuel then went to Ramah.

we are inviting Him to habitate the place we are anointing.

These are just a few observations that I have found from a short (very short) scriptural search. I don't think its ever going to hurt you to add a little oil to a situation or problem in your life. In fact, I would wager that in involving God, if even with a sliver of faith, you will find He will come in BIG on your behalf.

note :
The only oil I do NOT advise is buying some "special" oil from somebody that is trying to scam you. God is NEVER for sale. As far as I am aware, any all purpose oil will due just fine. Its the ingredient of faith that makes it active.


Molly said...

I love you! This is an awesome post. I am so blessed to have such Godly Bloggy Friends. We use oil when we pray over someone. But I have never used oil when praying for my home. Definately something to seek the Lord with my hubby about.

kristi said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! I have family in Missoula, Montana.

Prairie Chick said...

I love this. For me using oil is like doing something physical to accompany your prayers, it's visual, it's a symbol of faith, I love it. Our pastor annoints people with oil when he prays for them and I always find it very comforting.

Jess said...

I really enjoyed reading this. I do something similar, I go into every room of the house and pray over it for protection. So I don't think you're weird. : )

Anonymous said...

That was a great post! =D
Thank you for following my blog, SO much!!

Nanci Lycett said...

I really love this post. How great to use this ancient ritual. You are a talented writer and this a pretty good sermon! You have inspired me to be brave and write about my faith experiences more. Thanks for visiting my blog, and I hope you come back!

dongdong said...

That is so interesting. I have not heard it before but I think that is great idea. I want to see what my hubby thinks about it since he is the one who does the washing of the feet and keeps God's holidays.