Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!
It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe.
It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore.
In Psalm 133 we see a depiction of God’s abundant blessing for those who seek to live together in peace, joy, and unity.
In this Psalm King David tells us to behold – to take notice of – something quite remarkable and very beautiful – the blessing of God’s people living together in unity.
What is the distinctive feature of this gift?
King David declares it is GOOD when God’s people live together in unity (Psalm 133:1). We know that God is abundantly good and everything he created is good and reflects in some measure his own glory and goodness. God loves us by willing good to us. He wants us to share in his goodness and steadfast love in all of our relationships.
Psalm 133 also tells us that living together in unity is PLEASANT. It pleases God and brings us joy when harmony and good will prevail in our relationships.
This harmony and unity can only be sustained by God’s power and grace. This unity is likened to the PRECIOUS OIL which was poured upon Aaron’s beard and robe when he was anointed as Israel’s first high priest (Exodus 29). And it is also likened to the DEW of Mount Hermon which brought fresh moisture and life-giving water to Zion – God’s holy city and people.
Paul the Apostle tells us that “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us (Romans 5:5). The precious and fragrant oil poured out on Aaron points to Jesus, our High Priest and King, who anoints us with the overflowing oil of the Holy Spirit who transforms our minds and hearts to be like Jesus in holiness of life, purity, and love for one another.
And the DEW of Hermon which brought fresh moisture and living water to Zion is a symbol of the living waters of the Holy Spirit who revives our drooping spirits and weary bodies with renewed strength and growth in life together as disciples of Christ.
The blessing of living together in unity extends not only to this present life but to eternity as well (Psalm 133:3).
How do we grow and maintain a life of unity together?
Paul the Apostle tells us,
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone”.Romans 12:18
I have learned that if I have caused offence to anyone, I should resolve to repair the relationship as soon as possible, and ask forgiveness for any wrong-doing I have done.
A peace-maker seeks both the common good and the well-being of each individual. A peace-maker is not quarrelsome or divisive. A peace-maker is kind and respectful in speech and behavior, and is not easily provoked to anger or irritation. And above all else expresses genuine love, kindness, and brotherly encouragement and support.
The Lord Jesus on the eve of his sacrifice, in his high priestly prayer, interceded for the unity of all Christians.
“Father, may they all be one – even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you … so that the world may believe that you have sent me”.John 17: 21
Living in unity with our fellow Christians is not an option, but God’s will and intention for all members of the body of Christ.
Wherever we can, in our homes, small groups, churches, and in our life together as a community of disciples on mission, the Scriptures exhort us to make every effort to “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). The Lord Jesus, through his victory on the cross, has canceled the debt of our sins, and has torn down the walls of division and hostility between us, thus making peace, reconciliation, and unity possible for all who follow him.
“Father, make us all one, as you and the Son and Holy Spirit are perfectly one in love, truth, and holiness.”
Top illustration of paper cut images depicting strength in unity, from Bigstock.com, © by gualtiero boffi, stock image ID: 7864282
Don Schwager is the editor of Living Bulwark and author of the Daily Scripture Reading and Meditation website. He is a lay religious brother and life-time member of the Servants of the Word.