Psalms 23 (HCSB)
The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I lack.
He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He renews my life;
He leads me along the right paths
for His name’s sake.
Even when I go through the darkest valley,
I fear no danger,
for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff — they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
as long as I live.
Psalm 23 beautifully evokes assurance and confidence to our souls while reminding us of what God, in His goodness, has provided for us.
I came across a post on a social networking page that shines light about what the verse “You anoint my head with oil” refers to, and no, it is not only figurative language for God keeping the Psalmist healthy (as it could seem for us, who are not familiar with pastoral life). Scripture abounds in allusions to pastoral life and the similes drawn from that life sometimes escape us, so these type of explanations are more than welcomed. I will copy and paste the explanation, and invite you to go follow said social network page, like their posts, leave them positive comments and show them your support.
“Sheep can get their head caught in briers and die trying to get untangled. There are horrid little flies that like to torment sheep by laying eggs in their nostrils which turn into worms and drive the sheep to beat their head against a rock, sometimes to death. Their ears and eyes are also susceptible to tormenting insects. So the shepherd anoints their whole head with oil. Then there is peace. That oil forms a barrier of protection against the evil that tries to destroy the sheep. Do you have times of mental torment? Do the worrisome thoughts invade your mind over and over? Do you beat your head against a wall trying to stop them? Have you ever asked God to anoint your head with oil? He has an endless supply! His oil protects and makes it possible for you to fix your heart, mind, and eyes on Him today and always! There is peace in the valley! May our good good Father anoint your head with oil today so that your cup overflows with blessings! God is good and He is faithful!!”Facebook.com/FaithInGod247
Let me know, in the comments section, what you think about this explanation. Did you know this particular aspect of tending sheep? Did it cause you a “wow” moment, as it did to me when I first read it?