October 21, 2020

Pastoral Nuggets: The Keeper of the Oil

Brother-Aaron-236x300In 1924 Kittie L. Suffield took pen to hand and wrote the song: Little is Much When God Is In It.

During the course of my ministry, I have often found great comfort in the lyrics of the third verse and chorus: “Does the place you’re called to labor, Seem so small and little known? It is great if God is in it, And He’ll not forget His own.

Chorus: Little is much when God is in it! Labor not for wealth or fame; There’s a crown, and you can win it, If you go in Jesus’ name.”

The underlying truth to Kittie Suffield’s song is – when God assigns a place of service, regardless of how obscure it may seem; it is important. In the service of the Lord there are no unimportant ministry assignments or duty stations.

In 1st Chronicles 23 we find where the aged King David, knowing his death was imminent, began to set his kingdom in order by making preparations for his son Solomon to become king. In today’s verbiage, he was appointing a cabinet for Solomon. He was placing people he knew he could trust in different positions of authority in the kingdom.

Undoubtedly, some of those men received assignments that had great honor and prestige associated with both the assignment and the place of service. But in 1st Chronicles 27:28(KJV) we find where David appointed Joash to a position of service that, on the surface, seems mundane at best. And the place of service was, well, obscure! The Bible says, “… and over the cellars of oil was Joash.”

Imagine the joy of Joash’s job. Every day he got to get up and go to work in the cellar! Cellars are dark, cold, damp, musty, dirty, and strange critters lurk there! The very nature of the work itself was hard. He would be moving containers of oil in and out. And none of his friends would be inclined to just come by and visit with him. And most likely he wasn’t included in the inner circle of the prominent people.  After all, he worked in the cellar!

When we stop to consider the value and usage of the oil Joash was responsible for, the picture begins to change. Oil in that day was used for lighting, cooking, healing, and heating. But more importantly, it was a monetary commodity. It represented the kings’ wealth. In today’s verbiage, it was King David’s Fort Knox!

Suddenly, our perspectives change. An assignment that on the surface seems mundane and in an obscure place, is now recognized as a position of great importance. The king showed great trust in Joash by making him The Keeper of The Oil!

Here is the lesson of this column: The place of service God has appointed you may seem mundane and in an obscure place. The conditions may seem unfavorable. But God has placed great trust in you by placing you there. And here’s the good part, on occasion the King will stop by the cellar to take stock of the His oil. And for a while you are in the presence of the King. You have His undivided attention! And at that moment there is no more important person in the kingdom than you – The Keeper of The Oil!

“Does the place you’re called to labor, Seem so small and little known? It is great if God is in it, And He’ll not forget His own. Little is much when God is in it …”

I encourage you to keep well the oil God has entrusted to you. You see, it’s important to the King!

Brother Aaron


  1. This really applies to what I’m going through right now. Thank you!

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