The Pleasantness of Unity

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 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; 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 (Psalm 133:1-3).

During one of the wars between the English and the French, two war vessels met in a fearful encounter. It was too dark to distinguish friends from foes, but each supposed itself engaged with the common enemy. When the darkness lifted, both ships were seen flying the English flag. They saluted each other and grieved sadly over their disastrous mistake. Churches and Christians sometimes fall into a similar error by attacking those who are friends and not the enemy.

In Psalm 133, King David expressed the goodness and pleasantness of unity among the brethren. He noted that such unity is Holy Spirit-induced by comparing it to the oil with which the priests of Israel were anointed into office. He also compared it to the dew, the life-giving moisture which caused the land itself to burst forth abundantly.

It’s important to understand that unity is not uniformity. There may be difference and yet unity. No two blades of grass are exactly alike. No two faces of even identical twins are exactly the same. In fact, no two sides of any one face are alike. All the members of the body are different and yet they constitute one body, as Paul so eloquently demonstrates in I Corinthians 12:12-27.

In a similar fashion, true believers are to dwell together in unity. Such unity is both possible and practical. The Bible declares that such unity is good, pleasant, and commendable. Holy Spirit sanctification is what produces such a oneness (Ephesians 4:3). The beauty of holiness makes for a real and happy brotherhood.

Notice also that such a oneness and unity among believers is contagious and catching. It spreads, like the ointment running from the head to the beard. In fact, there is no stopping of its holy influence, because it runs down to the skirts of the garments. It affects everything and everyone everywhere. This is the one big lesson of Psalm 133.