Monday, June 7, 2010

Unity - Precious and Profitable - Psalm 133

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
for brothers to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious oil upon the head,
coming down upon the beard,
even Aaron's beard,
coming down on the edge of his robes.
It is like the dew of Hermon,
coming down upon the mountains of Zion;
for there the LORD commanded the blessing -
life forever."
(Psalm 133)

There is nothing less harmonious than a quarrel. There is nothing more melodious than unity. This is a psalm about the beauty of a song sung together in unison. These words speak of the precious and profitable nature of true communion with the saints.

David is speaking on the excellence of brotherly love. He says, "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell in unity!!" This is a GOOD thing. This is a pleasant thing. This should be a desired thing.

Is it?
Are we living with the fellow followers of Christ in this manner?
Are we united or divided?
Are we seeking to mend the breaches or striving to tear down those things which should bind us together?

In this next to last psalm of ascent, David uses two pictures to make us crave this wonderfully woven friendship and fellowship. He gives the picture of oil and dew to show us how good Christian comradery is.

"It is like precious oil." Oil was a valuable commodity. It cost a pretty penny and was used only on special occasions. Christian unity is compared to the contents of this vase of value.

Henry writes:

"Let them live in love. This living is a rare thing and therefore is admirable. It is fragrant as the holy anointing oil, which was strongly perfumed, and diffused its odors, when it was poured upon the head of Aaron, or of his successor the high priest, so plentifully that it ran down the face, even to the collar or binding of the garment (vs 2). So must our brotherly love be, with a pure heart, devoted to God. Holy love, is in the sight of God, of great price. "
As priestly oil flowed so must our love for one another. May they know we are Christians by our love. May that love be the aroma of Christ to a perishing world.

Friends, what do we smell like in our dealings with one another?
Are we as precious perfume or as a rotting corpse?

"It is like the dew of Hermon." Brotherly love is not only precious but profitable. The cool morning dew brings comfort and needed refreshment to a land that is often parched by the scorching sun. So should be our love towards one another - we should refresh one another.

The world hates us. The world seeks to burn us out. Are we fanning the flames of fury or dousing them with the dew?

Again turning to Henry:
"Holy love is profitable as well as pleasing: it is as the dew; it brings abundance of blessings along with it, as numerous as the drops of dew. It cools the scorching heat of men's passions, as the evening dews cool the air and refresh the earth. It moistens the heart, and makes it tender and fit to receive the good seed of the Word. It is as the dew of Hermon which is a common hill (for brotherly love is the beauty and benefit of civil societies), and it is as the dew that ascended upon the mountains of Zion, a holy hill (for it contributes greatly to the fruitfulness of sacred societies)."

Beloved, are we loving?
Are we loving as precious perfume?
Are we loving as pleasing and profitable dew?

May we love for in loving there is blessing. The goodness of brothers dwelling in unity is not only like precious oil and morning dew but it is a key to true blessedness in this life.
The psalmist reminds us that upon Mt. Zion - where our sacred society was so gloriously established - we were given the promised blessing of "life forever".
"Loving people are blessed people. They are blessed of God, and therefore blessed indeed. The blessing which God commands on those that dwell in love is life for evermore; that is the blessing of blessings. Those that dwell in love not only dwell in God, but do already dwell in heaven."
Lord, help us to love one another this day forth and for ever more.

In His glorious grace,

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