HOW GOOD AND PLEASANT IT IS TO DWELL TOGETHER IN UNITY (PSALM 133:1-3) – PART 3: THE PLEASANT BIBLE IMAGERY OF BRETHREN IN UNITY
From the Board of Elders
Dear Members in Christ,
Election of the Pastor
Calvary Jaya Bible-Presbyterian Fellowship is ONE Church having both the English and Mandarin speaking congregations.
The Church has been without a Pastor since 18th June 2020. Since then the Church has been praying fervently for God’s provision of a Pastor to shepherd His flock. While the Lord in His own wise counsel, purpose and timing tarries, the BoE (in the absence of the Pastor) has been shouldering the spiritual needs of the flock with guidance from the Advisory Pastor. We thank God for sustaining and equipping His chosen servants to do so.
On the 12th February 2023, members of the Church will elect a Pastor to shepherd God’s flock. In the spirit of unity and as one body in Christ, the members of the church shall come together on this day to elect a Pastor. Every member is to pray and commit this election before our Lord God almighty. God willing, the Pastor shall be elected on this day. All glory and praise be unto God. Amen.
In Christ, Eld. Choe Tong Seng
How good and pleasant it is to dwell together in unity (Psalm 133:1-3) – Part 3: The pleasant Bible imagery of brethren in unity
The theme that we are considering is, “How good and pleasant is it for brethren to dwell together in unity”, taken from Psalm 133. The biblical description of the unity of God’s people is presented as something which is pleasant, beautiful, beneficial, and life-giving.
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;
As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.” Psalm 133:1-3
In the previous article, we meditated upon Psalm 133:2, in which the psalmist expresses the wonderful imagery of Aaron’s anointing. The picture is given of that of a solemn and joyful occasion, in which the high priest of God is anointed with oil that contains fragrant spices.
The pleasantness of unity amongst God’s people versus a spirit of strife and disunity
The psalmist David uses the imagery of the anointing of the high priest figuratively, the beauty and fragrance of unity amongst brethren. Just as much as we can understand that the anointing of God’s high priest is an occasion of great joy, accompanied by a pleasant spectacle and an ambiance of fragrance. This is a wonderful setting to be in, therefore the psalmist describes it in a superlative way, “how good and how pleasant it is…” Something good and pleasant is much desired.
On the other hand, God’s people who are disunited, constantly squabbling, and engaged in conflict, are described in the Bible as something carnal and undesirable.
“For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” 1 Corinthians 3:3
Numerous other Bible passages point out the carnality and toxicity of strife and disunity. For example, in 1 Tim 6:4 of those who teach falsehood, “He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings.”
Dearly beloved, where there is constant conflict and strife, nothing good can come about it. If a man or a woman professes Christ but is constantly creating strife and conflict, the only reason the Bible gives is carnality, that is a person whose behavior is governed by the urgings of the flesh. Whether it is at the workplace, or home in a familial situation, there will be disunity and hatred, and this person will bring about hurt to himself and those around him.
On the other hand, the Bible exhorts us to walk in the spirit, to be governed and guided by the Holy Spirit of God. The believer is to exhibit fruit such as longsuffering, love, and kindness in his or her conduct. In such a setting of unity and love, the psalmist says, “how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity”.
The pleasantness and the beneficial nature of unity amongst God’s people
The psalmist uses another scenic description, this is the mention of the picturesque Mount Hermon in the Northern reaches of the holy land.
“As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.” Psalm 133:1-3
Mount Hermon is a high peak amongst many mountains in the Northern highlands of the land. This area is very scenic and of great importance to the land of God’s people. This is the source of water that feeds the streams that water the Northern valleys and plains and then runs into the Sea of Galilee.
The water from Mount Hermon comes in various forms. The first is the occurrence of precipitation by water-bearing clouds that ascend the elevated land. At certain seasons, the peaks of the Northern highlands are snow-capped, and when the snow melts, it supplies the streams that convey the runoff into the plains. Finally, the water may also be deposited as dew when the humidity is saturated, or when the temperature drops.
Dew is a fairly common source of moisture in the land. We know this from the psalmist’s description because he mentions, “As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion”. What this moisture imparts is life-giving water to sustain the growth of crops and vegetation. This is a blessing from God, for we read in Genesis 27:28, “Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine.”
It is a blessing from God, it is life-giving, it is refreshing, and it sustains livelihood. This is the picture of unity that the psalmist wants the reader to understand. Brothers and sisters, let us desire unity in our homes, in our church, and in any area of life where we interact and serve God’s people. And may God bless us with strong families, and a spiritually mature church that is united and serving the Lord with zeal and sincerity. May God be praised!
Rev. Lim Seh Beng