Psalms 120 to 134 are all labelled as ‘a song of ascents’. They were sung by Hebrew pilgrims on their way up the hill to Jerusalem for the annual Jewish festivals. Each one has a slightly different theme, and today’s song focuses on unity and fellowship among believers.
As pilgrims walked together to the holy city to spend time worshipping the Lord together, it probably seemed like a particularly good time to reflect on the unity of believers. It is described as a good and pleasant thing – a beautiful thing.
The Psalmist makes two comparisons to help us understand the beauty of this unity. When Aaron was anointed as Israel’s first high priest, the oil flowed down his head and over his beard and onto the breastplate that had the names of the 12 Israelite tribes written on it. In fact all priests were anointed in this way – the unity of believers is like an anointing that makes them acceptable to God.
The second comparison is to the dew of Mount Hermon. This mountain, to the north or Jerusalem, was the highest in the area and so would have more dew than other places. The Middle East was then, as is it today, a dry and parched land, so a refreshing morning dew was a great blessing. This is the unity of believers – a refreshing and invigorating tonic for all.
The Israelites would sing this song about unity on their long walk to Jerusalem to worship the Lord. This Sunday, many of us will make our way to church to worship the Lord. What songs will we sing on the way? Will we sing of the unity of believers which fits us for service and is like refreshing dew on a parched land? Even if we do not sing of it, we can choose this day to pray for it.
Meditation verse: How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!