Discover His heart: He blesses our unity with life everlasting
Olive oil has been an essential commodity since early civilization, and it’s still a lucrative product in Italy. Imagine the excitement for this Italian girl to be taken by dear missionary friends to a castle in the hills of Tuscany, one with a working olive grove and press. The kind workers allowed us to watch the oil making process from start to finish. Yes, be still my heart!
The process was lengthy, beginning with a thorough rinsing to remove soil, then the olives were crushed and pulverized into a paste. At the end, the paste was pressed under pressure, the vegetable water extracted and the finished product was the fragrant liquid we know and enjoy as olive oil. Olive oil doesn’t just happen – it’s a process under pressure.
@ Psalm 133
“How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe.” (1-2) This anointing oil not only went through the pressing process, but it was also combined with pure fragrances, producing an extraordinary aroma to the Lord. In this same way, heaven is filled with a pleasing fragrance when God’s people live together in harmony and peace. But just like the olive oil process, harmony most often results from a process under pressure.
The harmony that believers experience is the result of a process that involves lives that were once soiled by this world but are now cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Their individual agendas and selfish goals are surrendered to the breaking or crushing process of the Holy Spirit to where their hearts are contrite to God’s desires and plans. This pressing, this process under pressure, produces a precious aroma of unified worship that pleases the Lord. “And there the Lord has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting.” (3)
I like to visualize the anointing of Aaron as the oil was poured saturating his hair, down his face and beard, filling every crevice, every fold of fabric and all the way down to his hem. The oil saturated and marked the fabric, as oil will do, and left an amazing fragrance that filled the nostrils of God and everyone around Aaron. All this was a visual and sensory reminder of God’s anointing on him. When God’s people live in harmony with love toward one another, we are marked and fragrant in a way for all those around us to sense. “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:35)
Just as the best perfumes today attract people to them, our fragrant harmony will attract to us those who have never experienced it. They will wonder, what is that? Where can I find it? Just as Jesus prayed for unity in John 17, when we live together as believers in harmony, God blesses our unity, and lost souls are attracted to it because they find it nowhere else. No wonder David sang, “How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!”
Moving Forward: Along with all believers, my goal today is to be saturated and marked with the oil of harmony, so fragrant that others will be attracted to us.
Tomorrow @ Ecclesiastes 7-8