What does it say?

This is almost like having the day off! Our reading today is one brief psalm of three verses. Psalm 133 is a psalm of David and part of the Psalms of Ascents, or also called Psalms of Degrees. The focal point of the psalm is the anointing of Aaron the High Priest and reflecting on the unity of God’s people.

What does it mean?

Unity in the family of God is compared to two things: the ointment used to anoint the High Priest, and the dew on Mount Hermon. The image of the anointing ceremony is the precious oil that was poured on Aaron’s head, ran down his face onto his beard and from there onto his clothing (Exo 29:4-7).

Dew in this Hebrew culture represents great blessing. There is no irrigation as we know today, so farmers considered places with frequent dew to be the most fertile. Mount Hermon has an exceptionally heavy dew and this would have been known by all in the psalmist’s audience, in much the same way American culture knows that Seattle is rainy and Death Valley is hot and dry.

This psalm is worthy of meditation. Repeatedly we have seen that the psalms were written for a public, not a private audience. God’s truth was communicated in spoken word and music among a people largely illiterate. Worship, praise, thanksgiving and listening to the words of God was something primarily expected to happen in community.

How will I respond?

I will meditate on Psalm 133 today. To meditate is to carefully and prayerfully internalize truth. It can involve memorization intentionally or from the natural process of repeated processing.

Some possible questions for meditation: How does my life contribute to unity in the assembly of believers, or not? What is God’s view of unity among believers? What value does David’s place on unity? What is the most important lesson I can learn from this Psalm? What concrete action step can I take today as a result?