Unity reminds us of many things – cords woven together into a powerful strand, wedding candles melding into a single flickering flame, and symphonic notes harmonizing into one melodious tune. But oil and mountaintop dew? Those are not what first come to mind. However, Psalm 133 says that brethren dwelling in unity is like the precious oil that Moses used to consecrate Aaron and like Mount Herman’s dew descending upon Mt. Zion.
Aaron’s anointing oil was unique. Not to be applied to anyone but the consecrated priesthood, it was pure and holy (Exodus 30). It was part of the required attire for Aaron ‘s ministry, just as important as his robe, the ephod, and his turban. It was a qualifier, permitting him access to things otherwise forbidden. And its misuse brought a deadly curse.
Rising abruptly from the plains, Mount Herman was a symbol of conquest, a territory where giants were ousted and Israelite authority prevailed. A three-headed mountain, it was considered sacred for both its sloping into Mt.Zion, Jerusalem, the holy city and its contribution to the area’s fertility. It’s melting snow and condensation from the Mediterranean Sea provided liberal moisture in the form of dew to an area mostly noted for drought. Though months passed with the lowlands deprived of rain, the heavy mist descending from Mount Hermon watered the earth and awakened seeds to their fruitful potential.
Unity has the same power. Like Aaron’s oil, it consecrates, it sets apart for the special things of God. It is a necessity, connecting the Body of Christ and is as much a requirement for a child of God as is other aspects of Christianity like prayer or giving. Without it, the church succumbs to the enemy’s destructive desire, a threat for any Christian. Just as Mount Hermon’s dew, it testifies of victory--for unity arises from places where strongholds have been brought low so that the authority of God can prevail. Unity connects spiritual mountaintops with valley situations, bringing hope from above to the dryer regions below. It links provision with the impoverished in a continual watering of blessings. Unity empowers fruitfulness in others even as we ourselves flourish, and it qualifies us for things that would otherwise be out of reach if we were doing life alone.
Unity was the heartbeat of early believers who were in one accord when the Holy Ghost was poured out (Acts 2), who continued in the same mindset to receive the miraculous (Acts 5), and who agreed upon ministry appointments as the church expanded (Acts 15). Unity was the sign of love because it required self-sacrifice for the greater good (1 John 4), and this kind of love was the command of Jesus (John 15:12). Paul emphasized unity in his letters to the Ephesians as he encouraged them to endeavor to stay in peaceful unity. To the saints in Rome, he taught, “be of the same mind“ and “…with one mind and one mouth glorify God” (Romans 12). It was a message he repeated to the Gentile churches in Corinth and Philippi. Peter, reaching out to the Jews, communicated the same instruction, “...be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, Love as brethren” (1 Peter 3:8).
David and Paul and Peter recognized the power of unity –even the builders of Babel, using agreement for the wrong purpose, could attest to it. Perhaps that is why unity is one of the first things to come under attack in the church. Rather than permitting offense and discord to abound, however, we can let love work the beauty of fellowship, build the bonds of intimacy, and draw our focus into a singleness of vision instead. Being in one accord links headship to the body of believers and patriarchs to posterity. It blesses. Through its submissive, humbling descent, its greatness becomes ever greater, it’s affect even more far-reaching as it awakes potential and growth everywhere its multiplied strength is permitted to converge. When we are in unity, we bear the distinction of our loving Savior who lowered Himself to unite with human frailty for mankind’s private and eternal welfare.
While David’s focus on unity in Psalm 133 could have arisen from his desire to address the division in his household or the factions within his kingdom, his words also indicate that unity within the body of believers is a beautiful, holy thing. To have unity is to enjoy the strength of one another, but it also invites the privilege and power of God’s sacred anointing and the blessing of His provision descending in grace, like daily dew.
Tip/Tidbit: Look for one way you can come into agreement with someone else this week.
Try some of the following:
-Silence your opinions and support someone else's view.
-Set aside your project and assist someone else's need/desire.
-Speak favorably of others when someone attempts to bring up the negative about a person.
-Become involved with a church group or program.
-Invite others to join you for an outing.