I know we recently talked about love, but that’s because love is so very important! 1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love – but the greatest of these is love.” More important than rehashing what it means to have faith, more important than what happens after you die, love is the most important thing.
1 Peter 2:17 tells us to, “Value everyone. Love the brothers and sisters. Fear God. Honor the President.” OK, OK, the KJV says King there not President, and my new CSB translation says Emperor. But, when we’re applying scripture to our modern lives in the United States, or most of the constitution bearing countries of the world, President is as close as we get.
What we’re interested in here though, is love the brothers and sisters. Specifically Peter is talking here about fellow believers in Christ. In the same vein Romans 12:10 tells us to, “Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters.”
In Matthew Henry’s Commentary On The Whole Bible talking about Romans 12:10 Mr. Henry says, “An affectionate love: Be kindly affectioned one to another, with brotherly love, philostorgoi - it signifies not only love, but a readiness and inclination to love, the most genuine and free affection, kindness flowing out as from a spring. It properly denotes the love of parents to their children, which, as it is the most tender, so it is the most natural, of any, unforced, unconstrained; such must our love be to one another, and such it will be where there is a new nature and the law of love is written in the heart. This kind affection puts us on to express ourselves both in word and action with the greatest courtesy and obligingness that may be. - One to another. This may recommend the grace of love to us, that, as it is made our duty to love others, so it is as much their duty to love us.”
There are really two major verses that explain the importance of us, as Christians, deeply loving each other. The first would be John 13:35 where Jesus tells us others will know we are disciples of Christ by our love for each other. As believers we inherently understand this scripture and its implications. If the lost don’t know we are followers of Christ then how can we possibly hope to lead them out of the darkness to Christ?
The second takes a little bit more time; it’s Psalms 133:1-3, “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! It is like fine oil on the head, running down on the beard, running down Aaron’s beard onto his robes. It is like the dew of Hermon falling on the mountains of Zion. For there the Lord has appointed the blessing – forevermore.”
I think it’s interesting to note that in Matthew 16 when Peter confesses that Jesus is The Messiah, that takes place at the foot of Mount Hermon. And, in Luke 9 when Jesus goes up on the mountain with Peter, James, and John and they see Jesus “transfigured” with glory talking to Moses and Elijah, that takes place on Mount Hermon.
Hermon is the mountain that the river Jordan flows from and refreshes the land that God promised to Abraham and his descendants. The “dew of Hermon” sits so heavily on the land that it is said that first thing in the morning one would have thought that there had been a heavy rain the night before. This dew, literally, brings to all the land around it blessings and life. Given that it doesn’t rain between the months of May and October at the base of Hermon and the surrounding land, without that dew the whole land would in fact shrivel up and die.
Similar to the dew that falls on Hermon Psalms 133 talks about the anointing oil poured on Aarons head. This experience for Aaron and his descendants is what allowed them to serve as priests in the presence of the Lord. The oil itself was very precious and holy. God taught how the oil was supposed to be made and dictated how much could be made and stored at any given time. When the anointing oil was poured on the head of the high priest to anoint them the aroma would effervesce, filling the air with an extremely pleasant odor letting everyone know that everything was going to be alright, that God had not abandoned them.
I geek out about things like this; this holy oil, a gift from God running down Aarons hair over his beard and down onto his clothes. God reaching out to a lost, hurting, confused, and cursed world with hope. I can imagine standing there in the tent watching the oil run down Aaron as the overwhelming scent of spices fills the air. I can’t imagine a dry eye in the room as the realization of what God was doing at that moment hit each person. That a path to redemption and right standing with God had been given to mankind, where there once was only darkness and hopelessness now there was light and hope.
So King David tells us that when brothers dwell together in unity, or when we love each-other as believers then it’s like that dew on Mount Hermon or the anointing oil pouring down Aarons hair to his beard and clothes. It brings life to the land and the people, or in this case to the church as a whole, spreading out to the lost and hurting, sending out the message that there is hope and light, and it sends up that sweet smelling aroma like the anointing oil to the nostrils of God.
1 John 4:7-11 says, “Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another.”
Value everyone. Love the brothers and sisters. Fear God. Honor the President, and until next time…