Reading through the Bible together

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

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This is a short Psalm, but the message is a big one: unity and fellowship - and the blessings they bring. Unity and fellowship are so important that Jesus himself prayed for this (John 17: 11; 20 – 23) and later Paul preached about it (Phil 2: 2-8; Col 3: 14 – 15).

In this Psalm, two pictures describe the blessings of unity and fellowship. The first picture is of oil dripping down from Aaron’s head and beard to the collar of his robes. In the hot and dry climate of Palestine, oil on dry and chapped skin is soothing and healing. Anointing, especially of the high priest Aaron was a very special occasion and a symbol of God’s blessings for him. The oil that was used for anointing had a special fragrance, a secret recipe that was not to be imitated (Exodus 30: 22 – 33).  When Mary anointed Jesus’ feet, “the house was filled with fragrance” (John 12: 1 – 3). The blessings of God will permeate our lives and homes like a wonderful fragrance and soothe us when we live together in unity.

The second picture is of the dew falling on Mount Hermon. Once again, in the dry land of Palestine, dew that falls at night on the high mountains brings refreshing for plants, animals and people. Mount Hermon is nearly ten thousand feet above sea level and has lush green vegetation, even in the dry summer months. By comparison, Jerusalem (Mount Zion) gets practically no rain for 6 months of the year. God’s blessings that fall on us as we live in unity and fellowship with our family will refresh and sustain us, even in the “dry” times of our lives. Moreover God’s blessings give us “life forevermore”. This is the abundant life that Jesus came to give us (John 10:10). In unity and communion with God and His people we can enjoy life in abundance and live fulfilled and purposeful lives.

How can you describe the blessings that you have received from unity and fellowship with your family and your church family?

Ellen White used her own picture to illustrate unity: “Picture a large circle, from the edge of which are many lines all running to the center. The nearer these lines approach the center, the nearer they are to one another. Thus it is in the Christian life. The closer we come to Christ, the nearer we shall be to one another. God is glorified as His people unite in harmonious action” (Adventist Home, p.179).

She also wrote: “The secret of true unity in the church and in the family is not diplomacy, not management, not a superhuman effort to overcome difficulties—though there will be much of this to do—but union with Christ” (Adventist Home, p. 179).

May we all seek a closer union with our Creator God and live in unity and harmony with our fellowman. Amen.

Thandi Klingbeil
Home-schooling Mother
Collegedale, Tennessee