Saturday, June 8, 2013

Water and Oil: Healing of Body and Spirit (Part 2: Oil)

Photo by Kui Doraku

As we saw last week, water can help prevent and cleanse us from physical disease, just as the Living Water cleanses us from sin and refreshes our spirit. Throughout Biblical history, and continuing to modern times, oil also heals and restores both body and spirit. Water and oil used together may have curative properties for our physical and spiritual well-being.

When we have a cold, for example, the healing powers of Mama’s chicken soup are legendary! Not only is the warm liquid a soothing source of fluids, but the oil in chicken fat is thought to loosen chest congestion. Aromatic oils released from oregano and other herbs in the soup also clear stuffiness and have antibacterial properties. And Mom’s special recipe, passed down through generations, prepared lovingly with hours of simmering on a hot stove, symbolizes her tender care that restores our tired, discouraged spirit when we’re feeling sick.

In the Bible, oil represents a rich source of physical and spiritual healing. The Good Samaritan dressed the wounds of the assault victim with oil as well as with wine (Luke 10:34), and Jesus’ disciples used anointing oils to heal the sick (Mark 6:13). James instructs those who are ill to be anointed with oil applied by the church elders (James 5:14).

When God judged the Israelites by sending the plague, Moses instructed Aaron to burn incense as an atonement for the people, and the plague was stayed, or contained (Numbers 16:46-48). Burning incense releases the aromatic, antibacterial oils into the air, which stopped transmission of the plague. Even today, aromatherapy with frankincense, cinnamon, and hyssop is used to prevent disease spread and bolster immunity, as well as to relieve various symptoms.

Moving beyond disease prevention and treatment, oil in Scripture also symbolizes health and an optimal state of well-being. Esther and other women of the Bible anointed themselves with perfumed oils to purify themselves from their menses and to be pleasing to their husbands (Esther 2:12). The Song of Solomon describes the Beloved not only as a well of living waters, but also as a garden of exotic spices (Song of Solomon 4 :6-16).. Frankincense, cinnamon and other spices were often blended into ointment and were highly valued in Bible times to allure and heighten the senses (Proverbs 7:17; Revelation 18:13).

Men used oil on their head as part of their grooming and as a sign of good health, joy and blessing (Psalm 104:15; Isaiah 61:3) Yet during mourning, men would not anoint themselves with oil, to express their sad and downcast state (2 Samuel 14:2).  Even today, men as well as women use scented oils to make themselves more attractive.

The word of God to Jerusalem through His prophet Ezekiel was that He had washed away her bloody sins with water and anointed her with oil as His chosen nation (Ezekiel 16:9). For all who place their faith in His death, burial and resurrection as the only Way to Heaven (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; John 14:6), He does the same – washing away our sins with His shed blood (Revelation 1:5), and anointing us with the Holy Spirit!

David praised the Good Shepherd not only for leading him beside still waters, but also for anointing his head with oil (Psalm 23). Praise God that He leads us to the still waters of peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7), and to the joy of His anointing as children of the King and joint heirs with Christ! (Romans 8:14-17)

© 2013 Laurie Collett
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Denise said...

You always bless.

Nadwra┼╝liwiec said...

Doctors also claim, that oil is necessary for normal function of all body. I think, that it is good alegory of daily life with God, in which is place for His Word - it is necassary for our soul. Greetings and blessings for You :)

Janis Cox said...

Lots of great information on oil and its healing properties. I think of give me oil in my lamp keep it burning. Love that song.
Many blessings,
I am following you today from Still Saturday,

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Denise -- you always bless me!
Love in Him,

Laurie Collett said...

Excellent point, Zim! Our bodies need essential oils, like omega-3-fatty acids, and our soul needs His Word and His Spirit.
Blessings and greetings to you,

Laurie Collett said...

Amen, Janis! May we be like the wise virgins and keep our oil lamps burning! Thank you for your lovely comment & God bless,

Anonymous said...

Love that we are talking in the same vein... :) Blessings on your week! ~ Pam, apples of gold,

Laurie Collett said...

Amen, Pam! Synchronicity is yet another example of how the Spirit works in our lives. May you have a blessed week in Him!

BARBIE said...

Such a wonderful post. We all need to make sure we stay stocked up on oil! Blessings!

Donald Fishgrab said...

Each of the uses you described remind us again of the Holy Spirit working in the Christian's life. It is through his power that we, like the lamps on golden candlestick are able to sho forth the light of Christ.

Rolled Up Pretty said...

I love this post! :)

Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
It also seems that oil was also used as fuel for lamps. When alight, the flame illuminated the whole room. We are lights of the world, which is only possible through means of the Holy Spirit in us.
Another great post. God bless,

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks so much, Barbie, for your lovely comment!
God bless,

Laurie Collett said...

So true, Donald! Without the indwelling Holy Spirit, we have only the darkness of our sin nature.
Thanks for your insightful comment & God bless!

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks for visiting & commenting! Blessings to you,

Laurie Collett said...

Great analogy, Frank! May we keep our lamps lit so that He may shine through us! I love that a tiny light can illuminate even the darkest cave, but that darkness can never extinguish the light. Darkness is the absence of light, just as cold is the absence of heat.
Thanks as always for your comment, and God bless!

Anonymous said...

Yes, God's words can be soother to the heart, mind and soul. Amen in Jesus name for the holy book of a letter.

Brenda said...

Yes Laurie,
to think that the Lord loved the church and gave Himself up for us to make us holy, cleansing us by the washing with water through the word, and has anointed us with the Holy Spirit. We can not fathom this out with the carnal mind but to the Spiritual mind it is amazing.

Crafts a la Mode said...

Thank you, Laura, for this well written article. I never stopped to think about it except during Baptisms.. Best wishes, and God blessings to you . Linda

Stampin' VMG206 said...

I'm visiting today from Mingle Monday. I'm following you and would luv a follow back!
~ Megin of VMG206 Google Friend Connect
Follow on Bloglovin Bloglovin
Join me for Link Up Parties on Tuesay and Sunday.

Laurie Collett said...

Praise God for His words of eternal life, bringing us comfort, peace and joy! Thanks for your lovely comment, and blessings to you!

Laurie Collett said...

Amen, Brenda -- this is His unspeakable gift that is far beyond human understanding, but we fully realize it in glory. Thank you for your lovely comment and may God bless you and your ministry,

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Linda, for you sweet comment ad for hosting. May you have a blessed week in Him!

Laurie Collett said...

Welcome, Megin! Thanks so much for your visit, comment & for following! I'm following you back on GFC!
Blessings to you,

Anonymous said...

That sounds great!!!

If you have not done so yet, we would love to have you come share/link via our WWHop:
Happy Wordless Wednesday!

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks for the invite! I just linked up. God bless,

Denise said...

Hi Laurie,
We are so blessed that because of His amazing grace he washes and cleanses us from our sins, and anoints us with peace and love! :) Great post sweet sister!

Blessings and hugs for a joy-filled weekend!

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Denise,
Thanks so much for your joyful comment! You always lift my spirits! His grace is amazing indeed!
Love, peace and joy in Him,

Stampin' VMG206 said...

I wanted to let you know that You Were Featured on VMG206 ~ Brag About It Tuesday's Linky Party from last week! Stop by and grab a Feature Button and Link something new.
I have pinned your project to my Brag About It Features Pinterest Board. I can't wait to see what you've been working on this week!

~ Megin of VMG206

Laurie Collett said...

Wow -- I'm blessed and honored by the feature! Thank you so much! Thanks also for hosting, & God bless! I'm going to add the Featured button right now!