Psalm 133 (ESV)
When Brothers Dwell in Unity
A Song of Ascents. Of David.
The psalms with the title “A Song of Ascents” were especially relevant for pilgrims travelling together to Jerusalem to celebrate their religious festivals. “During the pilgrimages, the Jews enjoyed an ecumenical experience on their way toward and in Jerusalem. The pilgrims came from many different walks of life, regions, and tribes, as they gathered for one purpose: the worship of the Lord in Jerusalem.”
–Willem A. VanGemeren
Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity!
We have just read chapters and chapters of family lines and genealogies, and all of us know, either in personal experience or from stories of others, how difficult it can be to deal with family conflict. Yes, a loving, accepting, unified family is a wonderful thing!
· It is good because it reflects God’s heart and purpose of unity among His people (also described in Ephesians 1:9-10).
· It is pleasant because it makes life together as God’s people so much more enjoyable than seasons when constant bickering and conflict dominate.
2 It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down on the collar of his robes!
This refers to the anointing of Aaron, the high priest. The special and exclusive blend of oil (Exodus 30:22-33) was poured out extravagantly, running down his beard and onto his sacred robes. In the same way the unity of the people of God is a rich perfume making their worship pleasing to Him (Romans 15:6). (The Reformation Bible)
“The composition of this holy anointing oil may be seen, Exodus 30:23; sweet cinnamon, sweet calamus, cassia lignea, and olive oil. The odour of this must have been very agreeable, and serves here as a metaphor to point out the exquisite excellence of brotherly love.”
“What a sacred thing must brotherly love be when it can be likened to an oil which must never be poured on any man but on the Lord’s high-priest alone!”
–Charles Haddon Spurgeon
3 It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion!
With its high altitude, regular precipitation and heavy dew, Mount Hermon is known for its lush greenery even during the summer. The experience of the pilgrims singing these psalms was like Hermon’s refreshing dew. From May to October virtually no rain—or even dew—falls on Jerusalem. During these months at least two pilgrimages were held. Regardless of the harsh conditions of life in general, or of the pilgrimage in particular, the unity of God’s people was refreshing. (The Archaeological Study Bible)
For there the Lord has commanded the blessing,
John 17:20-23 (NIV)
Jesus Prays for All Believers
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one,Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
HERE is “Precious Oil (Psalm 133) by James Block. James describes his music: “Powerful, modern worship music inspired and recorded in Jerusalem. Music that stays true to the original names and themes of scripture.”