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  • Writer's pictureKaren O'Reilly

Oil And The Holy Spirit

Welcome to Day 19. of our devotional study, Who Is The Holy Spirit And What Does He Do? online Bible study.  Today's Bible study is about oil and the Holy Spirit. We will be studying 1 Samuel 16:13, Psalm 23:5, Acts 10:38, James 5:14, and Matthew 25:1-13.

oil and the holy spirit study

What does oil symbolize in the bible?

Throughout the Bible, oil is used as a powerful metaphor for the Holy Spirit, symbolizing His presence, power, and work in the lives of believers. In ancient Israel, oil was not only a valuable commodity but also a vital element in religious ceremonies. Anointing with oil was a practice that set individuals apart for God's special purposes, be it kings, priests, or prophets. This anointing wasn't merely a ritual; it signified the outpouring of God's Spirit, equipping and empowering individuals for their divine calling.

The rich symbolism of oil captures various aspects of the Holy Spirit's role in our lives. Just as oil was used to heal wounds, provide light in lamps, and preserve and bless, the Holy Spirit heals our spiritual wounds, lights our path, and strengthens our faith. The anointing with oil, therefore, serves as a tangible representation of the intangible yet powerful presence of the Holy Spirit.

In this study, we will delve into key scriptures that illustrate the significance of oil as a metaphor for the Holy Spirit. We will explore how the anointing with oil in the Bible reveals the Spirit's empowering, healing, and sustaining work in our lives, inviting us to experience the fullness of God's presence and purpose.

Oil And The Holy Spirit

To begin our study on oil and the Holy Spirit, we will examine three Bible verses—1 Samuel 16:13, Psalm 23:5, and Acts 10:38—and explore what the Bible teaches about anointing with oil.

Anointing with oil signifies being set apart for God's purposes and receiving His empowerment.

Read 1 Samuel 16:13

"Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah." 1 Samuel 16:13 ESV.

When Samuel anointed David, the Spirit of the Lord came upon him mightily. This anointing was not merely a ceremonial act; it represented God's choice and empowerment for service. This anointing marked the beginning of David's journey from a shepherd boy to a mighty king.

Consider this:

In our lives, the Holy Spirit empowers us to fulfill God's purposes, equipping us with gifts and strength beyond our natural abilities.

Read Psalm 23:5

"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows." Psalm 23:5 ESV.

In Psalm 23, the anointing with oil signifies abundant blessings and divine favor. The overflowing cup symbolizes a life filled with the goodness and mercy of God. The Holy Spirit brings joy, peace, and the fullness of God's presence into our lives, causing us to overflow with His blessings even in challenging times.

This might be a challenging message to hear if you're going through a tough time, but I assure you, make room for the Lord in your life and invite Him into the messy parts, and He will be with you. I have repeatedly seen the Lord open doors that seemed impossible to open and witnessed His goodness flow even in the midst of sadness.

Read Acts 10:38

"how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him."

Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power to carry out His ministry. This anointing enabled Him to perform miracles, heal the sick, and deliver those oppressed by evil.

Consider this:

As followers of Christ, we are also anointed by the Holy Spirit to serve others and carry out God's work on earth.

Healing Oil And The Holy Spirit

Oil in the Bible often symbolizes the Holy Spirit and God's blessing. When used in the context of healing, oil represents the presence and power of the Holy Spirit to bring physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. The act of anointing with oil is a tangible way to express our faith and dependence on God's healing power.

Read James 5:14

"Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord." James 5:14 ESV.

James tells believers to anoint the sick with oil and pray for their healing. This practice shows the importance of faith and the Holy Spirit in bringing physical and spiritual healing. Using oil in this way is a tangible way to show our trust in God's power to heal and restore.

The phrase "in the name of the Lord" means that our trust is not in the oil itself, but in God's power and control. Anointing with oil is an act of obedience and faith, acknowledging that true healing comes from the Lord. Whether the healing happens immediately, over time, or in a different way than we expect, we can be confident in God's perfect will and timing.

Keep your lamp filled with oil of the Holy Spirit

 The Parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25:1-13 uses oil to highlight the importance of being prepared and filled with the Holy Spirit as we await the return of Christ.

Read Matthew 25:1-13

"Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps[a] and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour." Matthew 25:1-13 ESV.

Jesus tells a parable comparing the kingdom of heaven to ten virgins waiting for the bridegroom. The wise virgins brought extra oil for their lamps, symbolizing the Holy Spirit, while the foolish ones did not. The delay of the bridegroom tests their readiness.

When the call comes at midnight, only those with enough oil are prepared to meet him. This shows the importance of continually being filled with the Holy Spirit. We must nurture our spiritual life daily through prayer, reading the Bible, and seeking the Spirit's guidance. The unprepared virgins are excluded from the wedding feast, reminding us of the serious consequences of spiritual neglect. Let’s prioritize our relationship with God and the Holy Spirit's presence in our lives.


Anointing with oil in Scripture beautifully symbolizes the Holy Spirit's work in our lives. Whether empowering us for a specific purpose, blessing us abundantly, or equipping us for service, the Holy Spirit is essential in our walk with God. The Parable of the Ten Virgins highlights the importance of being filled with the Holy Spirit and staying spiritually prepared for Christ's return. Let's seek a continual filling of the Holy Spirit, remain vigilant in our faith, and encourage others to do the same, so we may all be ready for the glorious return of our Lord.

Here are cross-references for further study:

2 Samuel 2:4, Psalm 89:20, Acts 13:22, Luke 4:18, Isaiah 61:1, Acts 4:27, Hebrews 1:9, Mark 6:13, Matthew 24:42-44, Luke 12:35-40, 1 Thessalonians 5:6, Revelation 3:3.

Prayer: Oil and the Holy Spirit

Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit. May Your Spirit anoint me afresh, filling me with Your presence and power. Help me to walk in Your purposes, experience Your blessings, and serve others with Your love. Thank You for the promise of healing and the power of Your Holy Spirit.

Father, thank You for the Holy Spirit who prepares us for Your return. Help me to be wise, vigilant, and continually filled with Your Spirit. May I live each day in readiness, eagerly awaiting the day I will meet You face to face. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Who Is The Holy Spirit And What Does He Do? Online Bible Study and Printable Journal

who is the holy spirit and what does he do printable

Dive even deeper into this study with our printable journal. This journal is designed to guide you through personal reflections and insights, enhancing your experience as you engage with the Scriptures and listen to the Holy Spirit. Grab your journal HERE.

Here are some questions to consider as you study the person of the Holy Spirit:

  1. What is the most important truth I learned about the Holy Spirit?

  2. Did the Holy Spirit convict me of anything that I need to change in my life?

 Come back tomorrow as we study, Holy Spirit Convicts Sin.

Thank you for joining me on this journey. May the Holy Spirit continue to lead you into a deeper relationship with God and empower you to live out your faith boldly and effectively.

Resources used in today's study, Oil And The Holy Spirit:

You may be encouraged by these resources:

  • Scriptural Grace Resource Library (FREE) HERE. 

  • Devotional Bible Studies For Women And Quiet Time Resources Forever Access Bundle HERE 

  • Printable Devotions For Women's Groups HERE

  • Names of God resources HERE 

  • Topical Bible plans HERE  

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Karen xx.


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