In the Gospel of Luke, we find an amazing example of how powerful the whole Word of God is, from Genesis to Revelation. Despite rumours of the empty tomb, there are two men struggling with unbelief and still grieving the death of the Messiah; they don’t even recognize Jesus when He walks right up to them. The Lord’s response was to reveal Himself through His Word; “beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27). This is one of my favorite verses because it highlights a fact we often overlook, especially regarding the Old Testament: all the Scriptures point back to Jesus.
So this brings me to a fun challenge I have been doing with the Lord recently – finding Jesus in the Psalms. This week it’s Psalm 133. This Psalm is written by David and only three verses long, but it’s incredibly deep (like pretty much everything else in the Bible). It paints a beautiful picture of our relationship as Christians with each other and the Lord. We’ll be going over the first two verses together today. Let’s pray.
Lord, teach me to love you with all my heart. Thank You for waking me up in the morning and planning every second since before the world was even formed. Thank You for never leaving my side for a moment, even when I turned my face from You. Let my heart receive Your Word with joy, understanding, and faith, that it would be deeply rooted and bear fruit in my life. Show me a new side of Yourself today; I’m desperate to know Your heart.
Psalm 133 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is when brethren dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.
Reflecting the Nature of Christ
Every time the Lord calls us to act a certain way, it is always in line with His character. As we follow His lead and behold His glory, we are being transformed into the image of Christ through the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:16).
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity!”
In this very first verse, we are called to be unified, as this is good and pleasant, just as the Lord is good and pleasant: “Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing to His name, for it is pleasant” (Psalm 135:3). We find that Jesus prays to the Father for the same thing, the unification of believers, before His death on the cross: “The glory that You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one even as We are one, I in them and You in Me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them even as You loved Me” (John 17:21-23).
Unity is the focus of this entire Psalm, so we’ll explore this concept a little further. There are two key words used here, “to dwell” (Strong’s 3427) and “together in unity” (Strong’s 3162), and they actually both occur in Genesis 13 as Abram and Lot are traveling.
“The land could not support both of them dwelling together; for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together, and there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. Then Abram said to Lot, ‘Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen. Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me’” (Genesis 13:6-9).
Unity is incredibly important to the Lord, which means that the devil will try to attack it. Physical treasures and possessions, when they take our eyes off of our identity — community of believers — become a major threat to unity. We are weak when we are divided — Lot and his people eventually get captured because they couldn’t defend themselves alone — but moreso, our devotion to the Lord is compromised.
So what does unity look like when we consider what we just read about worldly valuables? Let’s jump to verse 2.
Giving Our Treasures to Jesus
“It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!”
Oh, there is so much here. Part Two of this Psalm study will cover the consecration and Jesus being our High Priest. However, for now we can wrap up with this exact scene mirrored in the New Testament with Jesus at Bethany:
“And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, ‘Why this waste?’” (Matthew 27:6-8 NKJV)
This wasn’t just ordinary oil; it was precious and costly. So expensive, in fact, that the people watching were struck by the “loss” of something so valuable, but as Paul says, “whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:7-8). Mary of Bethany was anointing Jesus for burial, acknowledging the cross, His death, and resurrection, and she was willing to waste everything on her Lord (Matthew 26:12).
If we look back at verse 1 and Genesis 13, we see that one of the main threats to unity is attachment to our stuff; Lot held on, but Mary knew that her exchange of intimacy with the Lord was far more valuable than any sacrifice she had to offer. Even in the presence of the disciples, this initially caused controversy and disagreement – but Jesus defended her, saying, “For she has done a good work for Me” (Matthew 26:10).
The Lord mentions unity so much because the unity that He desires for His Church is one that our flesh, frankly, hates. We are to pursue oneness of mind instead of comparison and competition. We are to sacrifice our earthly desires and attachments. As Christians, we should be the ones that lay down everything to the Lord, together. Ideally, there wouldn’t have been just one person adoring the Lord while the rest of the believers judged… it is good and pleasing to God for all of us to come together and honor Him as one. Let us redirect our eyes to the only one worthy of our attention. Let us offer up the costly things as an expression of our love. Protect us, Lord, from ever choosing the earthly blessings You provided for us over Your presence.