Anointing the head with oil is taken seriously in the Bible. It is for specific purposes and administered by specific offices. And those who hold such an official duty must be qualified in their own lives (See James 5:14) to perform this sacred ceremony. It is not something we should participate in flippantly or for show or out of superstition. Anointing the head with oil is an extension of prayer and fasting; it is not a magic trick or bartering with God. It is a sign of God’s extravagant protection, provision and eternal prosperity for His anointed.
David, knew all about having the head anointed with oil. When his own head was anointed by the prophet Samuel, David, the shepherd, knew firsthand the symbolism of such a ceremony. David would have anointed his father’s sheep regularly to ward off insects and disease which could have quickly and painfully disseminated an entire herd. This anointing was not just a “little dab will do ya” either! Oil was poured and rubbed in all over the sheep’s head for its protection and the prosperity of the herd.
As oil dripped down his own face, David would realize the divine protection and authority and comfort covering him not only for his eventual kingship but for the days, which turned into years, leading to his coronation. Surely the myriad of moments in which God protected David and orchestrated his life were on the Psalmist’s mind when he wrote; “You anoint my head with oil.” This reflection of God’s anointing is not just about Samuel’s physical anointing of David, the shepherd. It is a reflection by David, the King of Israel, praising God for His continual anointing…of pouring the oil: protection, provision and prosperity. A little dab was not enough for David!
Anointing is seeking God’s blessing, His protection and guidance, His healing. Ultimately it is seeking His will and asking for our faith and trust to be increased to be able to thrive in God’s will, whatever it may be. And if that is true, and it is, I don’t think “a little dab will do ya” is what God had in mind. At least it was never just a dab in our biblical examples. The oil was always poured.
When Mary administered a costly perfume on Jesus’ feet, she poured it…all of it…all over Jesus’ feet! Let’s not forget that a certain disciple (Judas) was incensed over this “waste” of resources. One (Mary) wanted God’s extravagance above all else. The other (Judas) wanted all the world could give him and nothing else, not even God.
Which do I want? Which do you want?