Thursday, June 2, 2011

Psalm 133

Beauty of the Unity of the Brethren

Ps. 133:1

"How can we live in harmony? First we need to know we are all madly in love with the same God."
~ Thomas Aquinas

Some Biblical scholars believe that David penned this psalm upon occasion of the union between the tribes when they all met unanimously to make him king. It is a psalm of general use to all societies, small and large, civil and sacred.  As Spurgeon reminds us, David knew by experience the bitterness occasioned by divisions in families, and 'was well-prepared to celebrate in choicest Psalmody the blessing of unity for which he sighed.'

This is the fruit of the Spirit, the proof of our union with Christ, and adorns His gospel. May all who love the Lord forbear and forgive one another, as God, for Christ's sake, hath forgiven them. ~ Henry

So how do we flesh this out, this "dwelling together in unity?"  In John Gill's commentary, he makes these observations:
  • serving each other in love,
  • bearing one another's burdens,
  • sympathizing with each other in all circumstances,
  • forgiving each other offences committed,
  • praying with one another,
  • building up each other in their most holy faith, stirring up one another to love and to good works:
now this is both "good" and "pleasant";  ~ John Gill 

This concept is especially important for Christians, don't you think?  It sends a terrible message to a world of non-believers if those who share faith in Christ can't get along.  Of course, there are some things over which we MUST disagree - we must always hold fast to the Biblical truth of doctrine and disagree heartily with anyone who tries to distort the foundations of the Christian faith (example, if someone were to claim that the Bible is not the inerrant word of God)!  Below is a good guide for this situation:

In Essentials, Unity 
In Non-Essentials, Liberty
In all things, Charity  

There are three things wherein it is very pleasant to behold the people of God joining in one:
  1. When they join or are one in opinion and judgment, when they all think the same thing, and are of one mind in the truth
  2. When they join together and are one in affection, when they are all of one heart
  3. It is a blessed thing to see them joining together in duty, in doing that which is good, "workers together with God."   ~ Joseph Caryl, 1602 - 1673

 If you have ever experienced strife among your family or even with a friend or co-worker, you know well the PLEASANT feeling David is expressing in Psalm 133 of everyone getting along, dwelling together in unity! 
When I was growing up, my brother & me fighting and bickering was the ONE thing that would always - with certainty - rouse the anger of my parents and result in our punishment!

Hogue brothers, 1991

When my sons were small and would be bickering, I would read them the Bible stories of Moses & Aaron, stressing to them the value of brothers and how Moses needed Aaron to do the things God had for him to do.   
The Lord said to Moses, "Is not Aaron the Levite your brother?  I know that he can speak well . . . so he shall be your spokesman to the people.  And he himself shall be as a mouth for you . . . and Aaron spoke all the words which the Lord had spoken to Moses."  ~ Exodus ch. 4 

Mount Hermon was the site of unusually heavy dew, a great blessing in an arid country.  

Behold, how good and pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!
It is like the dew of Hermon
Descending upon the mountains of Zion.
~ Ps. 133:1,3
  • God delights in unity among His people
  • I praise God for the unity with the brethren that is available through shared faith in Christ
  • I praise God for my union with Him through salvation in Christ Jesus
PRAYER:  by Thomas A. Kempis
     I offer up to Thee my prayers and intercessions for those especially who have in any matter hurt, grieved, or found fault with me or who have done me any damage or displeasure; for all those also whom, at any time, I have vexed, troubled, burdened, and scandalized, by words or deeds, knowingly or in ignorance:  that Thou wouldst grant us all equally pardon for our sins and for our offenses against each other.
     Take away from our hearts, O Lord, all suspiciousness, indignation, wrath and contention and whatsoever may hurt charity and brotherly love.  Amen

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