We’re getting near the end of the Ascent Psalms, one more after this. The worshipper is in the a temple and worship is all around. I can visualize the scene … crowds gathered, songs of praise lifted, the noise of animals being brought for sacrifice, priests around in their garments, teachings and discussions all through the courtyard, the aroma of the sacrifices and of the holy oil, and a building that beheld glory and splendor and wealth and artistry of their God.
But the psalm doesn’t open with referring to the crowd or the Temple or the music or worship. That’s not what grabs the psalmist as what is good and pleasant. Nope, nothing in the Temple. He takes the discussion back to their homes, their community, to where they live.
Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!133.1
It’s about the way they get along with people around them back home, how they connect with those in their daily lives. While true that people coming together to worship is pleasant and a strong emotional experience, it is even more significant that they live in unity outside of the Temple.
So, when you shake hands or first bump (or give nods and air high fives in today’s Covid world), you can do it knowing you get along with the person you are greeting – no fake smiles, no masked expressions, all genuine love!
Basically, anybody can get along for a few hours week – yet if you can do that seven days a week, that’s really good and pleasant.
How can you love God and hate your brothers? Jesus said if you come to worship, even made it all the way to the altar, but your brother had something against you – leave your offering and go make up. Doing everything to live in harmony, at peace with those around you. Then come back to the altar and worship.
So the challenge today? Look around at those with whom you hang out, those who cross your path regularly, those you live near – and make the effort to live in harmony and peace.
Can you do this? For in doing it, God says it is good and pleasant!
133 … Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity!
2 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!
3 It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the Lord has commanded the blessing,