“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 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. It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing – Life forevermore. (Psalm 133:1-3) This psalm shows the blessings we can expect from godly brotherhood. It is a part of the 15 Palms of Ascension which give us tremendous insight into the proper way to approach the throne of God.
The psalm is divided into two main parts. In the first part the psalmist gives us powerful reasons why we should desire to live in unity.
King David begins this psalm with the attention getting word “behold.” He is demanding our undivided attention. It’s like approaching a major intersection when driving; where we need to stop, look, and listen. He is warning us that unity is exceptionally rare and we must beware not to miss it because of its uniqueness.
Of course, we know good is the opposite of bad, but the psalmist says unity is much greater than good. Unity is “how good.” He uses an adverb as an adjective and says there is no way to measure the amount of goodness unity will bring into our lives. We should note the first thing the Bible says is not good is, “It is not good for man to be alone.” (Genesis 2:18)
The word “pleasant” in the Hebrew is used in three ways.
David is talking about the blessings which comes from covenant love. He says this is what happens when brothers “dwell” together. The word dwell means to settle down and feel at home. It is the opposite of the word to “visit.”
The second part of the psalm gives us two excellent examples of unity.
The words he uses are “precious oil” which shows its value. Unity is costly which is one reason we see so little of it. The anointing begins “upon the head.”
Unity always begins with wise leadership. It begins there but immediately starts “running down” upon the “beard.” The beard is a sign of maturity. Boys don’t grow beards. Unity is produced by maturity and effects the way we talk.
But it doesn’t stop with the beard, “running down to the edge of his garments.” Unity flows from the leaders to the followers. Everyone who is a part of this covenant group receives the blessings which comes from unity. Wise leaders always look for things which flow, rather than things which are forced.
“It is like the dew of Hermon.” Hermon is the highest mountain in that part of the world. Throughout the Scriptures, dew is used as a type of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit comes quietly, gently, covering the whole earth with His presence. It is amazing to find the dew even in desert places.
The dew is the moisture which is collected from the cooling evening temperatures. It usually falls during the early morning hours and begins the flow of life causing things to grow. The psalmist says it is “descending upon the mountains of Zion.” Unity always descends. The mountains represent unity and are like fingers pointed into the sky. They capture the moisture which causes streams of water to begin flowing. Wise leaders look for the things which flow and produce life.
“For there the Lord commanded the blessing.” When we reach the place of unity we discover God has commanded blessings to be there. We don’t have to ask for them, God’s blessings are attracted to unity. The blessing is “Life forevermore.” God’s blessing is abundant and eternal. Heaven is a place of eternal life.
We must beware of missing the blessing of unity.