Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity! Psalm 133:1
One Happy Family
Psalm 133 is one of the 4 songs of ascent attributed to David. It praises the unity God’s people experience in their identity as brothers. With its emphasis on the unity of the believers, this poem anticipates Jesus’ prayer in John 17.
133:1, 2 Good and… pleasant may be rephrased as “great delight” or “good pleasure.” There is a sense of serene wonder in these words describing the unity of God’s people. Like the precious oil: Priests were anointed with a fragrant oil as a symbol of God’s blessing on their holy office (Ex. 30:22-33). This psalm pictures the oil in such large quantity that it flows from the head to the beard to the garment of Aaron, who represented the priests of God. When God’s people live together in unity, they experience God’s blessing.
1 A Song of Ascents. Of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity! 2 It is like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments.
133:3 like the dew of Hermon: The high mountain to the north of Israel received such large amounts of water that it seemed to be a source of moisture for the lands below. Similarly, the blessings of God flow to His people. The blessing: The intent of God is for the good of His people in this life and in the life to come. The people of Israel rarely achieved the level of unity – or the level of blessing – that the poem describes. Ultimately, this is a portrait of the kingdom of God. One day there will be the spiritual unity of God’s people that this poem describes.
3 It is like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the Lord commanded the blessing– Life forevermore.
** We, the God’s people, are not in competition with each other. We don’t need to set a hierarchical system among us to dictate a forced unity for the sake mindless efficiency like the world does. Our unity is not achieved by destroying individual uniqueness but to honor it. “For we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) What binds us to each other is not a system of mechanical chains. It is love for each other that the world does not know. How good it would be not having to compare and compete against each other with our minds consumed by arrogance and jealousy. Instead, we are taught to value others more than ourselves and love them like we love ourselves or our own children. That would be heaven.
133 1 A Song of Ascents. Of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity! 2 It is like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments. 3 It is like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the Lord commanded the blessing– Life forevermore.
Jesus’ Prayer for His Disciples
I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:9-26