Written by Morgan Fulton:
A song of ascents. Of David.
1 How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!
2 It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe.
3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore.
I wrote my first ever sermon using this scripture. I was speaking about the importance of the body of Christ and how we need to work hard to produce unity and community amongst one another. This is hard work and is never easy. It involves vulnerability, humility, long suffering, and most of all love for God and His people.
The reward of this hard work is beautifully written in this Psalm. The Psalmist uses two powerful images:
The anointing of Aaron
The dew of Mount Hermon
What do these images mean? Well, I find two significant things in the image of the anointing of Aaron. First, let’s think of the physicality of what the Psalmist is describing. The oil often used for anointing someone was always very expensive and fragrant. This is an oil whose fragrance would stay on your skin for quite a while. Because it was a purposeful oil, people knew the significance of the aroma. Next, think of the spiritual implications. God established Aaron and his lineage to be the priests of Israel. God entrusted him with the spiritual guidance of the Israelites and with access to His very presence. This is a huge honor and monumental anointing. When we put these images together we see a picture of someone specifically anointed for God’s purposes to affect the nations and them carrying an aroma of this anointing for all to bear witness to. When God’s people are in unity, we carry His anointing and power. We also bear an aroma or a certain quality that is impossible for others to ignore. Jesus told his disciples that the world would know they were His disciples by the way that they loved one another. When we operate in unity, God’s image is beautifully displayed to the world.
The next image is the dew of Mount Hermon. In the unbearable heat of Palestine, it would be easy for all the plants to be scorched in the summers. This image shares with us a beautiful phenomenon in this area of the world where dew from sky creates a constant blanket of snow on Mount Hermon. This snow melts to water in the summer that nourishes the surrounding area causing the plants to flourish and thrive. What another beautiful image! The unified body of Christ brings LIFE to any environment and people. It restores, heals, nourishes, and reconciles.
I hope today you think about how you could make some small steps towards encouraging the body of Christ around you to be more unified. That could be as personal as mending a relationship with a friend or as corporate as starting a prayer initiative at your church to pray for all the churches in your city. Whatever it is, think about the beauty that will come forth once this unity is achieved! Don’t dwell on the hard work it will take, delight in the blessings to come!