At first, I didn’t think there would be anything on this subject to aggregate or share on hubpages back when this book was first being written, but boy was I wrong! So wrong that not only did I end up sharing my research, but Hubpages has given it Editor’s Choiice for the second time this past January!
The link above can be clicked on to access research links given in one of the sidebars to the research article that spawned this excerpt.
What does this mean for the Bride of Christ?
The anointing oil represents the Holy Spirit’s desire to bring healing, joy, and power to the life of the believer and to present the Bride as a sweet-smelling savour before the Lord.
Myrrh represents the bitterness of the suffering we are called to endure just as Christ suffered.
Ephesians 5:1-2 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
Christ taught that anyone who is not willing to count the cost of their faith, isn’t worthy of following Him:
Matthew 10:37-39 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
Matthew 16:24-26 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Luke 21:12-19 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. 13And it shall turn to you for a testimony. 14Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: 15For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. 16And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. 17And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. 18But there shall not an hair of your head perish. 19In your patience possess ye your souls.
But for all these sufferings, those that endure to the end will be honoured:
Mark 13:13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
So we see that Myrrh teaches us to endure through the suffering thrust on us by the world for our choice to be obedient to the things of God. The Bride of Christ then, must endure, must not falter under attack, and must stand strong until her Heavenly Bridegroom returns.
Cinnamon has often been considered the spice of joy, which also happens to be the second Fruit of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
It is said that the flowers of this tree have a foul smell, and it’s also been said that cinnamon improves flavour of bitter foods. Christ asks us to find joy in the suffering we must endure while walking this earth, knowing that we share in His suffering and will one day receive a crown of righteousness.
The fact the oil mentioned in Isaiah is referred to as the “oil of joy” is a direct reference to this fruit of the Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit’s efforts in our lives, we will not find true Joy.
Calamus apparently smells nice not only as a spice, but as the plant in which it grows. It has apparently been used in various perfumes due to its rich and pleasing scent. The Christian is encouraged by the Apostle Paul:
2 Corinthians 2:14-16 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. 15For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: 16To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
Put another way, Christ says in Matthew:
Matthew 5:13-16 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 14Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
The book of Proverbs adds another take to this:
Proverbs 11:27 He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.
Proverbs 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
Proverbs 28:23 He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.
Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
I mention these various verses to allow Scripture to explain itself here. If we are to be a sweet-smelling savour to the world around us, we need to reflect the ways of God in how we conduct ourselves in daily matters. Scripture says that:
Proverbs 16:7 When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
So our goal as the Bride of Christ is to be such a reflection of our Heavenly Bridegroom as to draw the world to Him in a manner that is pleasing to God. When we please God first, those that matter to us will also be pleased.
We won’t please everyone. Salt not only seasons food, but cleanses, and if in a wound, that cleansing can sting to high heck! Light not only illuminates darkness, but it also exposes those who would rather stay in the darkness, so they get upset. But we aren’t to allow those who get upset to put our lights under bowls and deaden the impact we are to have in the world.
Cassia’s flowers are purple, which as we know, is the colour of royalty. It grows in high altitudes, making the Far East a perfect breeding ground, but also speaks to the victory we are to have in Christ over sin and worldly ways. This spice has been used in incense, which in Scripture references to our prayer life, and in garments in at least one passage in Song of Solomon.
Psalm 141:1-3 A Psalm of David. LORD, I cry unto thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee. 2Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. 3Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.
Revelation 8:3-4 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.
We first see incense mentioned in preparations for the Tabernacle in Exodus:
Exodus 30:1 And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon: of shittim wood shalt thou make it.
Exodus 40:27 And he burnt sweet incense thereon; as the LORD commanded Moses.
We won’t go into the recipe for the incense as that is beyond the scope of the immediate discussion. However, it consisted of similar spices to those used in the anointing oil.
The concept that our prayers are as incense before God should encourage us to enter into that place of conversation with Him more often than we do. God loves to listen to His children, loves to engage in two-way communication, loves to hear our praises and our expressions of love, worship and devotion.
The purple of this spice, as already observed, speaks to royalty. So it isn’t the voice of any commoner that God looks forward to hearing from, but the Bride of Christ herself, the Church!
Altogether, we see that the Bride of Christ, when filled with the Holy Spirit, will find strength from Joy as a fruit of the Spirit living through her, enabling her to endure the sufferings of this present time so that she may spread the sweet aroma of Salvation to the world around her, granting victory to heaven as each soul comes to Christ.
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