This is from my LIFE Journal this morning. I thought it was worth sharing….
Psalm 133 (NIV)
A song of ascents. Of David.
1 How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!
2 It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe.
3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore.
Introduction.—Ps. 133 is a short but beautiful poem extolling the blessedness of brotherly unity. Such unity characterized the meetings of the Israelites at the great festivals of Jerusalem. Harmony and brotherly love prevailed on these occasions.
On the superscription see Introduction to Ps. 120; see also pp. 616, 625, 627.
1. Brethren. The term denotes a tie of intimate relationship. David sang Ps. 133 when his relatives and friends were in hiding in the cave of Adullam (see PP 658).
2. Ointment. Heb. shemen, “oil,” here evidently not common oil, but the sacred oil with which the high priest was anointed (Ex. 29:7; 30:23–33). It had a sweet perfume; it was holy; it was diffusive. When it was poured upon Aaron’s head, it dropped upon his garments. So it is with brotherly love. It blesses all with its sweet and holy influence.
3. Dew of Hermon. A symbol of refreshment. Brotherly love born of heaven refreshes and revives. It is a foretaste of the fellowship enjoyed in the heavenly home. Because of the sympathy and affection which his associates showed him, David could sing this psalm while he was in the cave of Adullam (PP 658).
Nichol, F. D. (Ed.). (1977). The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary (Vol. 3, pp. 918–919). Review and Herald Publishing Association.
133:1 unity. Crucial quality of God’s people (John 17:11, 21), an agreement on the principles and purposes of life which makes relationships harmonious, lasting, and pleasant. People living in unity are committed and faithful to the cause and to each other. Outward unity is a manifestation of the inward unity. True unity is refreshing like dew, and such community God blesses (v. 3).
Dybdahl, J. L. (Ed.). (2010). Andrews Study Bible Notes (p. 776). Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press.
Unity, Love, and Peace—Let fathers and mothers make a solemn promise to God, whom they profess to love and obey, that by His grace they will not disagree between themselves, but will in their own life and temper manifest the spirit that they wish their children to cherish.
Parents should be careful not to allow the spirit of dissension to creep into the home; for this is one of Satan’s agents to make his impression on the character. If parents will strive for unity in the home by inculcating the principles that governed the life of Christ, dissension will be driven out, and unity and love will abide there. Parents and children will partake of the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Let the husband and wife remember that they have burdens enough to carry without making their lives wretched by allowing differences to come in. Those who give place to little differences invite Satan into their home. The children catch the spirit of contention over mere trifles. Evil agencies do their part to make parents and children disloyal to God.
Although trials may arise in the married life, the husband and the wife are to keep their souls in the love of God. The father should look upon the mother of his children as one deserving of all kindness, tenderness, and sympathy.
The Secret of Family Unity—The cause of division and discord in families and in the church is separation from Christ. To come near to Christ is to come near to one another. The secret of true unity in the church and in the family is not diplomacy, not management, not a superhuman effort to overcome difficulties—though there will be much of this to do—but union with Christ.
Picture a large circle, from the edge of which are many lines all running to the center. The nearer these lines approach the center, the nearer they are to one another.
Thus it is in the Christian life. The closer we come to Christ, the nearer we shall be to one another. God is glorified as His people unite in harmonious action.
Let Each Help the Other—The family firm is a sacred, social society, in which each member is to act a part, each helping the other. The work of the household is to move smoothly, like the different parts of well-regulated machinery.
Every member of the family should realize that a responsibility rests upon him individually to do his part in adding to the comfort, order, and regularity of the family. One should not work against another. All should unitedly engage in the good work of encouraging one another; they should exercise gentleness, forbearance, and patience; speak in low, calm tones, shunning confusion; and each doing his utmost to lighten the burdens of the mother.…
Each member of the family should understand just the part he is expected to act in union with the others. All, from the child six years old and upward, should understand that it is required of them to bear their share of life’s burdens.
A Fitting Resolve—I must grow in grace at home and wherever I may be, in order to give moral power to all my actions. At home I must guard my spirit, my actions, my words. I must give time to personal culture, to training and educating myself in right principles. I must be an example to others. I must meditate upon the word of God night and day and bring it into my practical life. The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, is the only sword which I can safely use.
White, E. G. (1952). The Adventist Home (pp. 178–180). Review and Herald Publishing Association.
Dwell Together in Unity, September 29
Partakers of the Divine Nature
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! Psalm 133:1
Christian unity is a mighty agency. It tells in a powerful manner that those who possess it are children of God. It has an irresistible influence upon the world, showing that man in his humanity may be a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. We are to be one with our fellow men and with Christ, and in Christ one with God. Then of us can be spoken the words, “Ye are complete in Him.”
In the plan of redemption a place is allotted to every soul. To each man is given his work. No one can be a member of Christ’s body and yet be inactive.… The work of God’s people may and will be varied, but one Spirit is the mover in it all. All the work done for the Master is to be connected with the great whole. The workers are to labor together in concert, each one controlled by divine power, putting forth undivided effort to draw those around them to Christ. All must move like parts of a well-adjusted machinery, each part dependent on the other part, yet standing distinct in action. And each one is to take the place assigned him and do the work appointed him. God calls upon the members of His church to receive the Holy Spirit, to come together in unity and brotherly sympathy, to bind their interests together in love.
Nothing so manifestly weakens a church as disunion and strife. Nothing so wars against Christ and the truth as this spirit.…
He in whose heart Christ abides recognizes Christ abiding in the heart of his brother. Christ never wars against Christ. Christ never exerts an influence against Christ. Christians are to do their work, whatever it may be, in the unity of the Spirit, for the perfecting of the whole body.
White, E. G. (1952). My Life Today (p. 276). Review and Herald Publishing Association.
In the cave of Adullam the family were united in sympathy and affection. The son of Jesse could make melody with voice and harp as he sang, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Psalm 133:1. He had tasted the bitterness of distrust on the part of his own brothers; and the harmony that had taken the place of discord brought joy to the exile’s heart. It was here that David composed the fifty-seventh psalm.
White, E. G. (1890). The Story of Patriarchs and Prophets as Illustrated in the Lives of Holy Men of Old (Vol. 1, p. 658). Pacific Press Publishing Association.
Psalm 57 (NIV)
For the director of music. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” Of David. A miktam. When he had fled from Saul into the cave.
1 Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.
2 I cry out to God Most High,
to God, who vindicates me.
3 He sends from heaven and saves me,
rebuking those who hotly pursue me—
God sends forth his love and his faithfulness.
4 I am in the midst of lions;
I am forced to dwell among ravenous beasts—
men whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.
6 They spread a net for my feet—
I was bowed down in distress.
They dug a pit in my path—
but they have fallen into it themselves.
7 My heart, O God, is steadfast,
my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and make music.
8 Awake, my soul!
Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
9 I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.
10 For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.
I see so much disunity going on. I see the Christian world fighting with each other. This is a call to not take the bait of satan and be offended at other people. This is a call to not take the bait of satan and get into arguments. This is. a call to be unified in purpose towards the gospel.
(SOME OF MY PRAYER THIS MORNING)
That’s the bait of satan. He wants to make us work in disharmony rather than harmony. He wants to bring disunity, rather than unity. Please guide us, Lord. Please direct our thoughts. Please lead us into the sweet realm of unity.