Psalm 133 — The Bond of Peace — Reading the Psalms

A Song of Ascents; of David.

1 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,
That ran down upon the beard,
Even Aaron’s beard;
That came down upon the skirt of his garments;
3 Like the dew of Hermon,
That cometh down upon the mountains of Zion:
For there the LORD commanded the blessing,
Even life for evermore.

This psalm always makes me smile. It’s a wonderful example of how words may translate more easily than the ideas of the heart. I imagine that on the day that David wrote these words there was a greater appreciation for oil overflowing a gentleman’s beard than we have today. Yet, even if the images aren’t perfectly clear to our own eyes, the sentiment still rings true.

We all want peace, but peace and security are sadly not the norm. Where two or more are gathered, unless it is in the Lord’s name, there will most likely be strife. Oh behold how lovely it is when we get along, when we dwell together in unity. The world sings “All we need is love,” which to me sounds like an Amen to David’s psalm. What we need is love and unity, and when it’s found it feels like an outpouring of blessings beyond what we hope or expect. It feels like the blessings cover our whole person, dribbling over our beard and bread.

It’s like the morning dew that daily waters the fields and flowers, giving us our fruit. The unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace, when eagerly maintained by God’s children, is both the nourishment and the fruit we enjoy. Let us ever plant ourselves in this fertile soil, striving for unity and peace while pulling out the weeds and roots of bitterness. Let us love both the Lord and our neighbor.

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