Unity in Christ – Psalm 133

There is great blessing in unity

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.

Unified Undertaking

God expects the church to be united.  There is a recollection by the author of this psalm of a time when he remembers the unity of God’s people.  He ponders it, and declares it to be good and pleasing.  We too should ponder this and declare the same.  When God’s people are in unity, they are able to fulfill His plans and purposes to the fullest extent possible.  And when they are in unity, any anger, disillusionment, sorry, or angst is swallowed up in love, focus, and purpose.  God’s people are submitting themselves to Him and to each other.

Precious Provision

Oil of anointing was a very precious and costly concoction to make:

22 Then the Lord said to Moses, 23 “Take the following fine spices: 500 shekels[about 12 1/2 pounds or about 5.8 kilograms.  Source: NIV Bible] of liquid myrrh, half as much (that is, 250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels[about 6 1/4 pounds or about 2.9 kilograms.  Source: NIV Bible] of fragrant calamus, 24 500 shekels of cassia—all according to the sanctuary shekel***—and a hin [probably about 1 gallon or about 3.8 liters.  Source: NIV Bible] of olive oil. 25 Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil.”

This was a very costly liquid to prepare, and was to be prepared by a professional perfumer.  This was not something that everyone had or could even afford.  The priests would have this costly liquid for anointing or for whatever special purposes God instructed them to use it.  It was highly fragrant, and would have been recognized as a time of joy, for the event would have been very special for this precious liquid to have been used.  This oil was used to consecrate the priests as well as to consecrate things to make them holy.  Once consecrated, they were deemed dedicated to the Lord.

Gentle Grazing

The picture here is of the gentleness of the dew as it settles on the ground.  This is a beautiful picture of serenity.  The Holy Spirit descended and settled upon Jesus just after He had been baptized by John the Baptist.  Jesus refers to the Spirit as living water.  This may be the author’s view of the presence of the Holy Spirit of God among God’s people when they are together and unified in thought:

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

Beatific Blessing

The blessing of God is foreseen by the Psalmist, and he may be recounting the joy of it.  He sees even that the blessing extends to everlasting life.  This is not to be discounted, since our chief need in life is to be awakened from spiritual death into spiritual life.  This only comes by God, and only through His Son, Jesus Christ:

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask ourselves a question: Are we unified in thought and purpose with the body of Christ for the will and purpose of God’s plan?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You give good gifts to Your children.  As I ponder Your Word, remember me and reveal new and wondrous things in it.  Help me to see these things from Your perspective, that I would have the right frame of thought for viewing them.  Help me to get into the same state of worship and understanding as this Psalmist that I too would rejoice in the unity of Your people.  Help me to better understand how important and significant that is to You.  Help me to greatly desire unity in the body of Christ, and to do all that I can, within the power and scope that I am permitted, to encourage it and to model it.  I pray, Lord God, that as I model unity as You desire it, that others would see and desire to do so as well.  May unity in the body spread throughout my community, and then throughout the region, and then throughout the country.  May my country then be known for the great unity of the body of Christ.  May it be a blessing to You and to us, and may You work great and mighty things in us and through us as we submit ourselves to You and each other.  This I humbly pray in the precious name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

***The sanctuary shekel was 20 gerahs to the shekel.  A gerah was about 1/50th of an ounce.  Source: http://biblehub.com/weights-and-measures/

The Perspective of God – Isaiah 1:18 (ESV)

“Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord: “though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”

“Reason together” is very interesting.  It is a meeting of the minds.  In our culture, it could be defined as, “let’s get together and discuss the matter.  You present your perspective, I’ll present mine, and we’ll meet in the middle somewhere.”  But that isn’t what is going on at all.  God is TruthGod is Perfect.  And a perfect and absolutely truthful God who knows all things is inviting us to see things from a correct perspective.  Although He sees our perspective (flawed as it is by our inherent sin nature which blinds us to the truth), He offers His perspective and beckons us to move to where He is to see things rightly.

Have you ever noticed that when you change your perspective – you move perhaps a step to the left or the right – that some things take on an entirely new meaning?  Have you ever seen an optical illusion, where if you move a little one way or the other, you see it for what it really is, but when you stand in just the right place, your brain fools you by filling in the gaps as it tries to define what it believes to be the truth?  It does this by using false, 2D perspectives in conjunction with interpolated depth perception (the ability of the mind to make rational calculations on what something should look like by comparing it to what appears to be a nearby known object of reference).

Take train tracks going in the distance.  Do the rails really get closer to each other the further away the rails are from us?  Why do they appear closer to each other then?  Our brains take what our eyes see and then creates a modified image using clues from other things around it to find meaning in what we see.  The brain has an internal mechanism that looks for meaning everywhere and in everything it sees.  Do you ever see bunnies or cars or birds in the way the clouds are formed?  Are the clouds really those things?  This is because God has given us the ability to intrinsically recognize intelligent designThis is why God can say that no one has any excuse for not recognizing that there is a God by looking at His creation. Since we are able to see that pattern (intelligent design), that ability permeates into other areas of our thought processes.

God offers a very wonderful opportunity to see the truth by pulling back the curtains on sin and righteousness and even time itself.  We are created beings, and as such, are bound at this time by the effects of the physical world, including TIME.  Rushing around, we are scarcely aware of the bigger picture, because time creates an interesting illusion – that it will always be around, and that there are immediate, temporal consequences for our actions.  It also fools us into thinking that when immediate consequences do not occur, that nothing bad will happen.  This illusion can guide us into being its slave, rather than helping us to use it for God’s purposes.  Timing is everything, right?

So, let’s take a step back and see the magic trick exposed.  What happens when we take a look at something through the lens of ETERNITY?

  • Justice is served.  How easy we get riled up when people do terrible things to us.  But God, being a just God, has ensured that justice will be served.  The Bible says that God can not be mocked, and a man reaps what he sows.  However, the transgression, in God’s eyes, has already been paid for.  Jesus bore the sins of the world, every sin for every person ever to exist – in the past, present, and the future – on the cross.  The lawbreakers (those who reject Jesus’s payment for our debt to God from sin) go to Hell (the Lake of Fire), and those who accept Jesus go to be with Him in Heaven.  Regardless, JUSTICE HAS BEEN SERVED. You can forgive the offender now.  The debt has already been paid.  In God’s eyes, since He sees the end from the beginning, He saw it as paid for even before the universe was created; and all of the lawbreakers are already in His jail, the Lake of Fire.

That was just one.  Take some time today, and with the Word of God, and the Lens of Eternity, what else do you see that you haven’t seen before?

A short prayer of preparation:

Our Father in Heaven, You are so good to us.  In our blindness, You offer sight.  You pull back the veil of darkness that clouds our vision and reveal wonderful new things in Your law.  You call us to draw close to You and to see things from Your perspective, a true and unvarnished perspective that transcends time and creation.  Guide us this day in Your perfect light, and remove the darkness that hides the true nature of reality.  You and You alone can see what is, what was, and what will be, and we desperately need Your help to navigate this life as we are crippled by our sin nature.  Blessed is Your name, that You seek us, redeem us, and keep us.  Your glory is beautiful to behold; may we bask in Your light, and be enlightened.  This we ask in the name of Your Most Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?