DayBreaks for 10/23/19: The Message of the Oil of Anointing, #3
From the DayBreaks archive, October 2009:
Sheep tend to be very docile creatures. Most of the time, they are very content to just eat grass, sleep, drink clean water and lay down to rest. There is a reason that people don’t hook sheep up to wagons to pull them, nor to a plow to create furrows for farming. Sheep don’t run and jump over hurdles like a horse. No one keeps sheep as “guard sheep” – the very idea is laughable. Sheep aren’t very good for much except for wool, living lawn mowers, or if you are so inclined, lamb chops.
There is an exception to the docile nature of sheep, however. That is the when mating season rolls around and the rams get rambunctious as they compete for the attention and affections of some of the ewes. Almost inevitably, if there is more than one ram in the vicinity, the rams will square off and with a sharp crack that fills the air, plunge head-long into one another, smashing their horns together until one or the other gives us and relinquishes his interest in the ewe in question.
As you might imagine, it is relatively easy for the rams to become injured in those contests of masculinity. It is possible for a ram to suffer a very severe injury or to even die. In rare cases, sometimes the rams horns will become locked, and if the sheep are out in a pasture where they are not tended, the rams can die of starvation before they can get unhooked from one another.
This is another use for the oil of anointing – the shepherd uses the oil to try to prevent injuries to the rams. He coats their heads and massive horns with slippery oil so that when the rams butt heads, their horns slip off their opponent harmlessly. The result: the rams live to try again.
It’s easy for us to butt heads with others over silly things. Very seldom do our disputes with other people come about because of big, significant things, but they typically start out from smaller confrontations or slights: we weren’t invited to someone’s home while others were, we weren’t recognized for some small thing we did. Women may be hurt that their spouses didn’t recognize and comment positively on a new hair style or dress. Men get hurt that their work isn’t noticed by the boss or because they’re not thanked for taking out the garbage at home. We have a choice then: we can butt heads, or we can let the smaller and less significant things just slide off before we, or an “opponent,” get hurt.
How do you respond when you suffer what you perceive to be a slight of some kind? Do you attack? Do you let the Shepherd’s oil keep you from injury?
PRAYER: Keep us from hurting others or ourselves because of slights and minor hurts! Give us the grace to be gracious! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>