6Then he said to me, This [addition of the bowl to the candlestick, causing it to yield a ceaseless supply of oil from the olive trees] is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit [of Whom the oil is a symbol], says the Lord of hosts. –Zechariah 4:6 (AMP)
As a wife and mother, I am aware of the cooking benefits of olive oil. In addition to its many health benefits, it offers a distinct flavor to many dishes. Like any other product on the market, there are “qualities” of oil.
First cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil is by far the best. You can smell the quality as soon as you break the seal. Often times, if you are not aware, and do not understand the difference or only have a “surface knowledge” of what you are looking for, you can be misled.
The marketing industry has become an expert in deception. Quality olive oil for cooking, flavoring and salad dressings should have a green appearance. If you are not aware of what you are looking for, you may find yourself purchasing a tinted green bottle that gives the appearance of a quality that will not be there when the bottle is opened.
How does this parallel the Christian life today? What does the world see in all of the ploys driving the market driven church? Have we become infomercials screaming empty promises at the hurting and lost of the world? Are we merely tinted bottles offering the appearance of a healthier life only to leave them more disappointed and defeated when they open the bottle?
The oil has many purposes throughout the Bible. The most important for the Christian to grasp is that it is a symbol of Gods Holy Spirit.
In reading todays Scripture, most Christians will recognize only part of this verse as they have probably spoken or sang it at some point in their walk. “It’s not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit sayeth the Lord of Hosts”. Does it ring a bell?
Throughout the Word there are many Scriptures that represent the oil, its different qualities and its specific uses. Each of these represents the Holy Spirit and the many facets of His role in our lives.
In Exodus 27:20, pure crushed olive oil was commanded by the Lord for the lamps to burn continually. Again in Exodus 30:23-31, God gives very explicit instructions for an exclusive anointing oil. This is what He says:
31And say to the Israelites, This is a holy anointing oil [symbol of the Holy Spirit], sacred to Me alone throughout your generations. Exodus 30:31
If you read that Scripture in context, it was oil set apart for God alone. It was set apart, holy for His priests, no laymen; sacred. God was so serious about it that He said if anyone tried to make this oil for themselves and pour it on their bodies; they would be cut off from their people.
Did you know that in that climate, in that time, it was customary for the people to use the oil as a sort of antiperspirant/deodorant? They mixed it with spices, anointed their bodies so they wouldn’t sweat excessively, and the oil gave off a refreshing fragrance?
Let me share another, not so pleasant aspect of olive oil. If you try to keep it too long, or don’t use it properly, it goes rancid. Do you know what that means? It breaks down, decomposes, causing a disgusting, offensive odor.
In Biblical references the oil is constantly being poured out whether it was for light, anointing or offering. Esther even went through six months of beauty treatments with oil in Esther 2:12.
Proverbs 21:20 states:
There are precious treasures and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a self-confident and foolish man swallows it up and wastes it.
Do we comprehend the presence and value of the Oil? Do we understand that it has to flow? Do we acknowledge that the oil does not come from us, but from His ceaseless supply?
What about the ten virgins? We all know that they were betrothed, awaiting the arrival of the Bridegroom. He knew them; He was engaged to be married to them. What happened? Only five made it to the marriage supper: The five that understood the importance of the oil.
It was not merely that they had let their lamps go out. They took the oil for granted. Without the Oil, there is no light. The Pure Oil burned is what gives the light; they neglected the value of the oil. They took it for granted.
Have you ever heard a wheel or gear that needed oiling? It can literally grate on your nerves. But if you oil that gear or wheel, you find the whole machine is running more productively and smoothly. Its operation flows.
Are you a vessel through which Gods Oil, symbolic of His Holy Spirit can flow? Or are you just the green tinted bottle, deceiving the world of the quality of its contents?
When the trials of life come with its pressures and cause you to sweat are you giving off a refreshing aroma that signifies you have been anointed?
Are you connected to the Source of the flow?
Do not be like the five virgins who were engaged and thought that it was enough that the Bridegroom would recognize them. It is the Oil, the presence of His own Holy Spirit that He recognizes.
All you have to do is be an available, willing vessel from Him to pour out on and through. Give yourself to Him, let Him reveal, the fragrance, the flow, the healing, the supply, the anointing of His Holy Spirit. Let Him reveal to you the importance of the Oil.