A Song of Ascents. Of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant [it is] For brethren to dwell together in unity! 2 [It is] like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments. 3 [It is] like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the LORD commanded the blessing–Life forevermore.PSALM 133:1-3
I live in the south, but I grew up in the north. The summers are hot in both places, but the humidity is a real difference maker. The altitude can also make an impact.
Last summer we went to see some of the mountains where I grew up. We drove one of the scenic highways and found snow a few hundred yards off the road. We got out, hiked up, and had a snow ball fight in the middle of summer! It was incredible and refreshing.
This summer we didn’t go to the mountains. We stayed close to home. We saw some of the hottest days at the beach. The fair skinned part of my family came home with sunburns so bad I teased them for looking like lobsters (it was bad). Then a picture popped up of our snowball fight on the mountain. I thought, how refreshing would that be right now!?!
Of course I knew it was an impossibility, the mountain we had seen the year before was a hard four day drive away. But really though, how cool would it have been to experience both the beach and the mountain top in the same day. If it gets to hot at the beach you step out to 12,000 feet on the mountain and if it gets to cold there you step back on to the beach.
That’s kind of the picture here in verse 3. Hermon is the tallest mountain in the region and is in the far north of Israel. The air is cold at the top. Zion is the hill where Jerusalem is and it is quite often arid and dry. They are so far apart that the “dew” of Herman can’t really water Zion. But that is the point of what the Psalmist is saying. When we dwell in unity (v.1) it’s like all the geography between us doesn’t matter. It’s like being refreshed by cool mountain air in the desert.
Unity with our brothers and sisters in Christ is something we should strive for. Even when it seems like it’s a long way off, in God’s timing it may be closer than you think. God blesses the unity of his people. Today I am reminded that unity is worth striving for. It doesn’t take any effort for people to become at odds with one another, but unity takes work.
(On a little bit of a side note, Psalm 133 is perhaps my favorite Psalm to preach outside of Psalm 23. I shared some more detailed notes and illustrations here).
Father, Thank you for those incredible days that I enjoyed with my family. One at the beach and one on a mountain top. I am grateful for both experiences and how they have taught me about geography and more importantly about unity in the local church body. I pray that we would be a united people. I pray that we would look out for one another’s interest and seek each other’s well being. Give us insight into our neighbor’s lives and how we might bless and encourage them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.