Thursday, October 13, 2011

Church Harmony and Hermon's Dew

Psalm 133:1
How good and pleasant it is
    when brothers live together in unity!

Psalm 133:3
It is as if the dew of Hermon
    were falling on Mount Zion.
  For there the LORD bestows his blessing,
    even life forevermore.

As mandated by the Mosaic Law, the Israelites would go up to Zion to celebrate the God-ordained feasts three times a year (Exo.23:14). They have a set of songs to sing on their way up which we now call The Song of Ascents; the 133rd Psalm is one of them. What a pleasing sight it would have been to witness people from all walks of life singing a song about national and spiritual unity!

Two out of three of those annual feasts take place on dry months. At the peak of a drought, there is not even a drop of dew in Zion and in the  rest of the land (1 Kings 17:1).

There is a mountain range between Lebanon and Syria, and the tallest among them is Mount Hermon. In contrast to Zion, there is never a time in a year when Hermon is dry. You could  find ice at Hermon's peak even in the most severe droughts in the region. The dry months increase the usefulness of Hermon as its melting ice become a source of water to nearby places including the Jordan River.

One traveller narrates some memories from his visit:
"The vapour, coming in contact with the snowy sides of the mountain, is rapidly congealed, and is precipitated in the evening in the form of a dew, the most copious we ever experienced. It penetrated everywhere, and saturated everything. The floor of our tent was soaked, our bed was covered with it, our guns were dripping, and dewdrops hung about everywhere. No wonder that the foot of Hermon is clad with orchards and gardens of such marvelous fertility in this land of droughts."(Henry Baker Tristram, 1867)
The Psalmist is saying that in the unity of God's people, it is as if Jerusalem is refreshed by the water descending from Hermon. Jerusalem may be too distant to be a recipient of Hermon's dew, but it is very near God, the one who has "commanded the blessing." And where there's water, the grasses are green, the trees bear fragrant blossoms, the grains are plump, luscious fruits are in abundance, and the animals are well-fed. Best of all, human life is sustained.

Individual members of God's people face various trials daily. Souls are severely dehydrated wandering around the Desert of Sahara. May they find oasis in our churches. Let's pursue unity.


  1. "dew of Hermon" makes more sense now. Makes one understand more why church unity refreshes a lone soul in a dry and weary land, making him say: Oh to be with God's people again!

  2. Amen. Amen. Thanks for dropping by S.E.L.A.H.!

  3. Facebook Comment from Cynthia Rosario Imus:

    Thank you for this blog my dear brother. when i am reading psalms 133, i do not give emphasis about Mt. Hermon because i do not know what it is like and when i read and reread this blog, i fully understand and appreciate its significance. God bless!