Summer ought to be a season when we’re able to rest well—a time we can spend with the Lord and His goodness. But, oftentimes, we actually fall out of healthy spiritual habits and end up trying to rest from the Lord instead of resting in Him.
That’s why we’ve created the Summer Selah Series. Over 40 days, we’ll be sharing daily devotions during a season where you may not feel very devoted.
Based on excerpts from his book Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion, Ross Lester, our Pastor of Preaching and West Congregation Pastor, will provide readings from select Psalms, a brief devotional reflection, and some prayer points for each of the 40 days.
Take some time to read Psalm 133. Then, come back and read the following verse again.
“Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity!” (Psalm 133:1 ESV)
In Psalm 133, David employs two metaphors to explain the blessing that takes place from experiencing a genuine, loving, and united community of faith. Oil and dew.
But, what on earth are we supposed to do with those metaphors? I mean, why does Aaron have such an oily beard and why is that a good thing? Sounds like brother Aaron needs a shower and a trip to the barber.
I never understood this imagery until I got some help from Eugene Peterson. He explains that these two metaphors are incredible reminders for us if we are to have any chance of experiencing genuine love in a community of believers.
The oil on Aaron was a sign of his anointing as a priest. It meant that anyone who saw him would know they had a priest—someone who could intercede between them and God! Someone who reminded them that God had not left them and that He still intended to dwell amongst His people!
The dew spoke of the potential of new life and growth in a desert region. It spoke of hope for vegetation to grow out of seemingly dry soil and for rivers to flow again in deep valleys.
The oil speaks of the dignity of people who have a priest. The dew speaks of the hope of people who have God’s transforming power.
These are two powerful things for us to observe in others. To view one another with dignity—knowing that, even if other people in community are dull or irritating or brash or boring (and people are all of those things), they have been dignified by their High Priest who was anointed to save them and who has anointed them with the Holy Spirit. Every person in Christian community has incredible value!
And, to view one another with the potential of God’s empowering Holy Spirit—refusing to think the worst of one another and to see the potential work of God in each other! Peterson says that this sort of view brings an excitement to the family of faith because we cannot wait to see what God will do in people around us next.
Imagine if we were the sort of people who viewed those around us in this way. Imagine the unity. Imagine the power. Imagine the joy. Imagine the fun!
Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to give us power to see one another with oil and dew—with dignity and potential. Oh, what exciting things God might do amongst us as we do.
Father God, make us into a unified people. Give us eyes to see the dignity and potential of image-bearers around us, particularly those whom we wouldn’t agree with. Bind us together in our shared salvation and in the love that You have for us.
Ross Lester, Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion (Magnolia, Texas: Lucid Books, 2017)