While applying a sealant to the deck of my home, I checked the label of the sealant, wondering what the product was made of. Touted as biodegradable and as having an immediate, lasting effect in preserving wood, I discovered the sealant was mostly resin, naturally derived from trees, from wood itself. It was designed not only to brush on the surface of the deck, but also to soak in deep into the wood as an oil would.
Thinking along these lines, I suddenly remembered the image from the 23rd Psalm of the Shepherd, God, anointing the head of the Psalmist with oil. It is such a beautiful picture, and the psalm indicates we are God’s tenderly cared-for flock. I was reminded of other Bible verses, too, which explain that God “crowneth thee with lovingkindness” (Psalms 103:4) and that God “hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness” (Psalms 45:7).
Mary Baker Eddy’s definition of oil in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures elucidates the spiritual meaning of the word as used in Scripture, in defining oil as “consecration; charity; gentleness; prayer; heavenly inspiration” (p. 592).