“Behold how good and how pleasant it is, for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments.

As the dew of Hermon that descends upon the mountains of Zion; for there Jehovah commandeth the blessing, life for evermore.”

A beautiful gem is this short Psalm. Someone has said that it has "the fragrance of a lovely rose." While in preceding Psalms we have seen the glory of Israel's King, the coming Messiah-King, here we see Him as the Priest. Prophetically this Psalm shows us the time when our Lord Jesus Christ will be the Priest upon His throne. Then all Israel will be united in a wonderful brotherhood. How different it is today! What strife there is amongst them! What dissensions! In that day when the veil is taken from their hearts they will bow in worship before Him whom they once despised and rejected.

This unity of the new-born nation, the believing Israel of that coming day, is the result of the Holy Spirit. Aaron was anointed with the precious oil. The sons of Aaron were only sprinkled with it. But upon Aaron's head was poured the precious oil and he became the anointed priest. The oil flowed from his head into his beard, ran down his garment to the hem of it. According to Jewish tradition two drops of the holy oil remained forever hanging on the beard of Aaron like two pearls, as emblems of atonement and of peace. So when He appears he is anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows (Psa. 45 :7). Israel will become a sharer of His Spirit; it flows from Him upon the believing remnant of His earthly people, as the holy oil flowed down from Aaron's head. Such is the promise of Scripture, a future outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Israel of that coming day (see Joel 2:28). Isaiah tells us the same (Isa. 32:15). Then Israel's spiritual death is ended as well as all her unrest and misery. "Neither will I hide my face any more from them; for I have poured out My Spirit upon the House of Israel, saith the Lord God" (Ezek. 39:29).

But while this is the prophetic meaning of this Psalm, a blessed, coming unity of Israel, we must not omit its typical application. Israel's Messiah is also the High-priest of His Church. The. Holy Spirit rested upon Him, He was given to Him for His official work, not by measure. And those who believe on Him and are washed by His precious blood are sharers of His Spirit. The Spirit flows from the head to every member of His body. We are baptized by the same Spirit into one body. This produces unity, the unity of the Spirit, a spiritual unity. If it will be true of redeemed Israel that they dwell together as brethren in unity, how much more should this be true among the members of the body of Christ! Alas! the strife, the divisions, the increasing sectarianism, and with it the backbiting and vain glory amongst those who should dwell together in a blessed unity! What a stumbling block all this has been and what a hindrance to the work of the Spirit of God!

And that unity of the Spirit bringing all into oneness is refreshing like the dew of Hermon. A traveler of long ago wrote, "Here I sat at the foot of Hermon, and understood how the dew drops which rose from its forest-mantled heights, and out of their ravines, filled the whole year with snow, after the sun's rays have attenuated them and moistened the atmosphere with them, descend at evening-time as a heavy dew upon the lower mountains."

So the dew is likened to brotherly love. It brings refreshing, power and blessing. It comes from the heights above.

Arno Gaebelein