When We All Get Together!
King James Version
1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
2 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;
3 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.
My brothers and sisters I want to speak to you this morning from a subject of;
When We All Get Together!
Many of us have just experienced Thanksgiving with family. It is the holiday most thought of when it comes to togetherness. The centerpiece is often food, Followed closely by family and fellowship over a meal.
It is the togetherness; that gives us such is a good feeling, a pleasant feeling. For some it might be the only holiday of the year when the family comes together. Other times of togetherness might be Christmas, Family Reunions, Weddings or Birthday Celebrations.
If we think of the good feelings we have during those times, it is a feeling we often try to recreate over and over again. Because it is soo good and it is soo pleasant yet it is rare. We wish we could make those moments lasts forever but it simply is not possible.
People move away, kids grow up, the elders die off, kids get married and have to divide their time between two sides of the families instead of one. Which makes the times when we do come together that much more precious.
The Bible says that it is good and pleasant to dwell together in peace and unity. That the feeling we get when saints come together is something rare and precious.
Psalm 133 is the final installment in our series of the Songs of Ascent. The hymns sung by the pilgrims as they traveled to and fro from Jersulem 3 times a year as required to worship. David penned this psalm for the special occasion when the tribes of the Northern and Southern Kingdoms were reunited under David as Israels’ 2nd King.
David was the father of many children. His great success as a warrior and empire builder was interconnected family dissensions and political revolts. To tie together the various groups, David took wives from each group he conquered and created a harem. The resultant family was an extreme departure from what we know as family, but rather a clan structure. Where everyone descended from a central ancestor.
His goal in writing Ps 133 was to persuade the family to live together in peace and unity. The Bible names 19 sons and one daughter who had at least seven wives and many concubines for King David. We don’t know how many children David had. Wouldn’t it be good and pleasant if all of his King David’s children came together and dwelled in peace and in unity?
As you can imagine that would be no small feat. Just imagine all the children living together without jealously, animosity or fighting. All of David’s children probably didn’t even know one another. Despite the children having multiple mothers they all had a common father.
David has in mind the anointing of the high priest, a ceremony that involved oil. “You shall take the anointing oil and pour it on his head and anoint him,” said God through Moses. This oil was both liquid and fragrant—it would flow and it would smell, and it seems that both properties included an element of symbolism. Yet it’s the liquid property David has most in mind here. The repetition of the word “down” helps unlock the metaphor. The oil was poured on Aaron’s head and flowed downward, from the top of the head, to the beard, to the collar, and beyond. This downward movement demonstrates that the source of unity is above and beyond the priesthood—it is extrinsic to them. In the same way that oil was poured onto Aaron by someone else, unity was poured onto the people by God. In the same way that oil spread from Aaron’s head to his beard to his clothing, unity was to flow from God to the priest to the people. The oil, after all, would drip onto the breastplate which bore a stone for each of the twelve tribes. Unity was God’s gift to his people given through the mediation of the High Priest. It was an objective reality they needed to understand, enact, and foster.
God’s people today, like God’s people in that day, have been given his gift of unity. It was objective reality for them and it is an objective reality for us. God poured out his Spirit on the great and final High Priest, Jesus Christ, who is the head of the church. Like oil flows from hair to beard to collar, the Spirit flows from Head to body, from Christ to church. And oh, how good it is when we embrace that unity, when we practice it, when we foster and treasure it. The lesson of Aaron’s oily beard is a lesson of unity. It is so good, such a blessing to us and such a pleasure to God, when we diligently and deliberately live like children of a common Father. How good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!
We used to sing a song When We All Get Together, what a day of rejoicing it will be. When we all see Jesus, we will shout and sing the victory.
The interesting thing is that the song points to the future. It points to a time when Jesus returns and all the saints come together as one.
But David in Ps 133 is not talking about coming together when Jesus returns. He’s talking about coming together in brotherly love now.
We can’t imagine. Because
David founded the Judaean dynasty and approximately 1010 and 970 B.C.E., he united the people of Israel, under one monarch.
Soloman the son of David built the city of Jerusalem.
“the benefit of the communion of saints.”
King James Version
9 Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.
Background - David had children by multiple wives, he encouraged them to come together and live in unity and love.
The tribes of Israel have been separated for some time. Now they are united under one
We cannot conceive or express the goodness and pleasantness of it. Behold it is a rare thing, and therefore admirable. Behold and wonder that there should be so much goodness and pleasantness among men, so much of heaven on this earth!
It is Good - the goodness of God is to be emulated, the goodness of God is to be admired. When the children of God dwell together in Peace and unity it is a reflection of the goodness of God.
Coming off of Thanksgiving many of us had lots of good food. Good fellowship and good times to remember. Yet the goodness we experienced over the holiday is nothing in comparison to the goodness of God.
His very essence. God, by nature, is inherently good
Psalm 34:8 tells us: "Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” He is the foundation of goodness and of everything good—He did not obtain it from another source. People can have good traits or do good deeds, but goodness is not in our character. Our goodness comes from God.
it is - to be desired or approved
it is - the right thing to do
it is - to our advantage
it is - an exemplary thing,
The Dew of Hermon and the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion, to which the psalmist referred — differs entirely from the ordinary dew of our country — and is a phenomenon peculiar to Palestine and the East. It is a soft mist that comes from the Mediterranean during the summer, when the heat is greatest, and the country is burnt up with the terrible sunshine. It is attracted by the inland heights, and condensed in copious moisture upon their sides, and creeps down upon the plains, reviving and refreshing every green thing.
It comes first of all to Mount Hermon, and helps to keep up its unchanging robe of snow, and to fill its springs, and feed its cedars, and then it flows down and makes the corn to grow green in the valleys, and the vines to swell out their purple grapes in the vineyards, and the lilies to unfold their crimson radiance in the fields. And it is to this wonderful phenomenon that the psalmist compares the unify and harmony of those who dwell together as brethren. It is a most beautiful and expressive image. For just as Mount Hermon that is high above the plains and valleys of Palestine, benefits them by its clouds and rains and streams, imparts to them the blessings it receives from heaven, and thus becomes essential to their life and well-being; so these plains and valleys in turn have helped to elevate and maintain Hermon on his throne, and send up to it their evaporations and radiations to become the sources of its spotless snows, its billowy clouds, and its sparkling streams and cooling winds. They help it as much as if helps them. They are mutually dependent upon each other. The lowly plain does not envy the lofty mountain; nor does the lofty mountain look down in contempt upon the lowly plain. They are associated together in physical harmony.