How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe. Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And there the Lord has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting. Psalm 133 NLT
I cannot read this psalm now without remembering the time I was helping with a worship service in another city. The congregation was reading this psalm responsively but when we came to the verse where the oil was running down Aaron’s beard, the secretary had typed “bread.” Only the other pastor and I caught it during the first service and he corrected it before we read it in the other service.
It really seems strange to think of oil running down a man’s head, into his beard and onto his shoulders as pleasant. Most of us would think that is gross or even dirty. Who would want oil all over their head? But in the ancient world, water was precious and baths were few. Oil was more plentiful -- olive oil, not a petroleum product! Oil could cool you down as well as moisturize in the dry desert. And when someone was anointed as priest, the finest oil was used to anoint them. This oil was indeed precious and not used on anyone but the most godly of people.
And that is how precious harmony was for the psalmist.
After this last presidential election, I too am seeking harmony between people. I have heard of too many friendships broken up by people who have spoken, texted or posted words that have hurt others and made them angry. I suppose harmony this day would be like people coming together to help others in need -- like victims of Hurricane Sandy or Katrina.
God, how wonderful and pleasant it is when people live together in harmony! Help us to live together in unity and harmony. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Copyright Amelia G. Sims 2012