Living together in harmony make life great. But dealing with disharmony is like draining the marrow from your bones. King David knew both extremes. He offers wisdom from the voice of experience.
Many places in Israel today adapt their modern names from biblical names or references. Horeshat Tal National Park takes its name from David’s words in Psalm 133. Horeshat Tal means “The Dew Grove,” a name derived from verse 3:
It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore. —Psalm 133:3
Sitting in the shadow of Mount Hermon, this extensive park with its lush surroundings includes beautiful lawns, rolling streams, stone bridges, and a large swimming pool and water slide.
But the best parts of the park are the beautiful groves of centuries-old Tabor oak trees.
- At one time, these oaks grew in abundance on the hills of the Galilee.
- These trees are all that remain—saved partly due to a local legend that claims whoever harms a tree will endure suffering.
The superstition reminds us of a principle of unity that Psalm 133 speaks as truth—not legend.
Biblical Unity is Like Dew
During his reign, King David experienced revolts and heart-wrenching family squabbles. These struggles served as a black backdrop to his declaration in Psalm 133:
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity! — Psalm 133:1
In the psalm, David compares unity to precious oil that anoints the head of the high priest Aaron. There is so much oil poured on the priest’s head—an almost wasteful amount—that it runs down off his robes!
David then compares unity to the melting snows of Mount Hermon, far in the north, which form the headwaters of the Jordan River. By having “the dew of Hermon” come down upon the dry mountains of Zion (Jerusalem), David described something that never occurs geographically, but the exaggeration suggests, “Imagine if it did actually happen!”
When we dwell together in unity, David said, the blessing is like a multitude of cool, refreshing streams that flow in places that desperately need it.
Unity is good and pleasant but also, sadly, rare and infrequent. David knew this firsthand. His aggravated son Absalom lived in Jerusalem for two years, in the same 10 acres as himself, but they never spoke a word.
There’s a big difference between dwelling together and dwelling together in unity.
Unity’s Essential Ingredient
The legend that promises suffering to anyone who harms Horeshat Tal’s beautiful Tabor oak trees reminds me of what happens when pride crowds out humility in our relationships:
- Many a home has those who dwell together.
- Many churches have believers who worship under the same roof.
- But when we fail to dwell together in unity, it’s like pouring gallons of olive oil on the ground or flushing streams of fresh water.
Peace on earth begins with peace in the home and in the church. And peace in these places begins with you and me. It takes genuine humility to listen to others with sincerity—and to forgive as we’ve been forgiven.
Unity comes at the cost of humility. But it’s cheaper than the painful fallout from pride.
The path to unity begins with personal humility and forgiveness. The results come directly from God—overflowing blessing.
Question: What do you think is harder—pride or humility? To leave a comment, just click here.