” A Song of degrees of David. 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 forevermore. (Psalm 133:1-3)”
Some years back I was in a conversation with a woman who went to Church with my mom; they are a non-denominational Church, which goes by no name, some even call them the “The Church with no name”.
As I was trying to find out more about their beliefs, I said something about unity; immediately she said, “We hear your people are big on unity”.
Their whole church knew that I didn’t follow after their teachings and that I was also a Charismatic believer. As she made her statement about unity I immediately knew that even though I saw them as being Christian, they were not going to give me the same benefit as being Christian and our conversation then came to an abrupt end.
Don’t get me wrong, as Christians we are not to have unity just for the sake of having unity; we have no unity with Buddhists, Muslims or any other false religion.
However, even though Christianity has splintered itself in to many different denominations and non-denomination; we should still be able to recognize one another as Christians, ( even though our beliefs are not fully in agreement with each other).
We should at least be able to recognize what a follower of Christ is and what a follower is not; even though there are some differences in doctrine, there should be a common ground that allows us to see the body of Christ and recognize each as a part of that body (no matter how uncomely that part is!).
I’m not speaking about heresy or those things that would classify something as being a cult; which I may address at a later time, in a different blog. (What some call heresy, may or may not in fact be heresy.)
I was reading Psalms 133 about 30 years ago while in prayer and I told the Lord that I really didn’t understand the analogies given. I saw that unity is something God likes and something he wants his people to seek, but I wasn’t getting the idea being shown in the Psalm; sure I’ve heard people speak on this Psalm, but even in their interpretations something seemed to be lacking.
So I thought I would mention some of the things that the Lord showed me 30 years ago, in fact this was the first message I preached about 26 years ago.
Whether you agree with it or not, I hope somehow it will help you to see and to rethink what our unity is or is not!
Unity among the brethren is like the “OINTMENT”, which runs down!! Aaron was the High Priest and there is something about this picture and him being placed into that position that the Lord wants us to see.
On his head would have been a miter, which would have been woven into one piece (a unity of fibers).
Occupying his head would have been not just one singular hair (hopefully), but a unity of individual hairs; and the same with his beard, a unity of individual hairs. Even his garment was made of a unity of fibers, all being woven into a single garment.
The body of Christ is much like this image; people from all kind of different walks of life; male, female, differing races and cultures, rich or poor; not one of us is exactly the same; we may group ourselves as a people of the same race or status, yet we really are not exactly the same, but we are in the same body of Christ.
Our unity isn’t found in these differing groups, whether we group ourselves into something that makes us all alike or not; our unity is found somewhere else. (Even though the miter is different from the rest of the picture, it all forms the same analogy and reveals the High Priest as a whole.)
Like the miter and the hair on the head; sometimes there is nothing that makes us the same, except the anointing, which makes them both now holy.
The hairs on the head and the hairs of the beard are very similar, but normally they differ in coarseness and in a few other ways; similar, but still different; and again, it’s the anointing that gives them a true common characteristic in the callings of God.
From the top of his head to the sole’s of his feet, the common thing every item all shares is the anointing, which is a symbol of God’s calling and placement into this holy position as God’s representative. It’s not the individual or the clothing that makes Aaron holy and set apart before God; it’s the anointing.
Even the ointment is made from a unity of elements; oil didn’t come from just one single olive; but rather from many olives sharing the same common crushing. What was hidden inside of the olives was brought out by a crushing.
Once the oil is gathered; and then it is mixed with other element that also experienced a crushing and bruising, everything is mixed in its proper amounts and then it became Holy to the Lord. (It’s not the elements that make this ointment holy, rather it was God’s decree that made it holy).
The whole image is about a type of unity that God calls holy and how he has placed his people into his calling by his decree.
There are common things or experiences that make us the Body of Christ and holy to God; without them you are not a part of the Body. We all are sinners and we all have to experience the work of God’s Spirit to convict us of our sin and need of God’s salvation and without this crushing or the many works of the Spirit that brings us to God, we will never recognize or enter the things of God.
Again, unity is like “THE DEW” of Hermon. The area mentioned here is a very arid place where the vegetation can not produce a harvest or bear fruit with just the small amount of rainfall that come during the year alone.
There is a heavy dew that comes, that makes up for the lack of rain; many have taken note of this dew, that it almost appears as if a heavy rain has just taken place as they look upon the dew.
Between the rain and the dew combined, crops are able to come to a full bountiful harvest.
Dew seems to come from nowhere; it comes from the invisible molecules of water in the air that surrounds us; and in their individual state they can’t be seen. But when there is the right conditions in temperature; then the individual molecules condense and a unity of these molecules come together and form water droplets known as dew; this phenomenon is known as “dew point”.
It doesn’t just create a singular water droplet, but rather a multitude of droplets which forms a blanket of water that causes it to appear as if it has just rained.
Without this unity taking place, then the crops will most likely fail. (It’s interesting that he doesn’t describe unity as being like the rain.)
This phenomenon that creates the dew; and the need for this phenomenon to take place reveals something about how this unity of ours is created by God’s Spirit and it’s necessity for fruitfulness.
There is something that happens when we are able to come together in unity that can’t take place if we remain in our individual state or remain divided.
There seems to be a greater blessing or greater access to the blessings of God when we are in unity. The writer also states, “this is where the Lord commanded the blessing!”.
God called out a nation of people out of Egypt, not just an individual; and as a nation he pronounced the blessing “over them“.
This is not to say that an individual can’t be blessed, but rather God’s purpose goes beyond just one person; God intended that a nation live under the atmosphere of his blessing, therefore the blessing is more accessible as a group. We even see this in prayer where Jesus says, “Where two or three gather in his name….” (Matt. 18:20).
Yes, God will answer a single believer’s prayer and his presence is with that person; but it seemed to Jesus that something greater was available when it was done in unity.
There is no possible way at this moment for the entire body of Christ to come together in a single geographical position nor is our unity to happen in this way.
So our unity is found in the Spirit and in what he is doing or has done. Small groups, even if they are hundreds of miles apart can still be in the unity of the Spirit of God with one another; therefore it’s not about numbers or how large one’s church may become that constitutes this unity, but more of a Spiritual mindset that we have one for another, no mater where each member may be.
This unity if it exists, it will first be seen in the local church; if it’s not happening in the local church, then how can one ever imagine it happening in the larger scale in the earth or what is known to be the Body of Christ?
No, we’re not trying to create a unity, just for the sake of having unity. But we should be coming together in what God has already created; and in it God will be glorified in it!
So if you hear me speak something about unity, please give me a chance to explain just “What Unity” I’m referring to; and I will tell you it’s like the “ointment and the dew”, which reveals a common working of God that brings us to salvation and we become and operate as the mature sons of God; where we bear fruit and become a “Peculiar People” to his praise and glory!
Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: