How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! – Ps. 133:1 NIV
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Next to Psalm 117, Psalm 133 is probably the shortest psalm in the Bible. Consisting of three verses only, it reveals a major key to blessing amongst a group either animals or plants and by inference a major reason also for lack of positive developments and growth among such groups.
The first verse opens up with the scripture for today presenting the scenario of what it will look like if God’s people were to dwell on unity. The Psalmist says:
1. It will be good. It implies that it will be a desirable and comfortable state, one to look forward to.
2. It will be pleasant. It implies that it will bring joy and happiness. It will produce an atmosphere that will be enjoyable to all as there will be peace of mind.
3. It will be like precious oil being poured on Aaron’s beard and which flows down to his collar – Ps. 133:2. The Psalmist compares the state of unity to the spiritual empowerment of a chosen person. Yes! They will not be gathered in name only but events that can happen only with spiritual empowerment will always occur as the precious oil being poured symbolises anointing which in itself implies empowerment and separation for godly purposes. The Psalmist says Unity amongst Christians will attract the type of Grace and empowerment that Aaron, the priest of God enjoyed. Praise the Lord! Halleluyah!
4. It will be like the dew of Hermon falling on Mount Zion – Ps. 133.3. Bible scholars inform that Hermon is another name that is also used for Mount Zion with various historical activities including the transfiguration of Jesus Christ associated with it. Similarly, the dew on this mountain is unlike regular dews as it is available through all seasons. The importance of this all seasons falling of the dew becomes clearer during the hot seasons when every growing plant are scorched by the heat. During this period, bible scholars report that plants on and around the Mount Hermon (Mount Zion) remain lush green. In reference to the text of today, the Psalmist says Unity brings all season watering and fruitfulness. Such a united group will remain fruitful in all seasons as it is the Almighty God Himself that will water it and help to retain its fruitfulness.
Unity can be defined as the coming together of different and independent entities to operate as a single unit. It is important to emphasise the initial independence of each of the constituent units that are coming together as that remains the first sacrifice to be made for process leading to Unity to commence. In the context of this Psalm,
a) Unity is not just coming together but coming together to achieve a common purpose in the name of God.
b) Unity also implies that there must be a binding concept to keep them together, in this case, the laws and precepts of the Almighty God.
Furthermore, in the context of a Christian group, the purpose of uniting must be God-driven. It must be centred around pursuing standards and desires of the Almighty God.
So unity in the body of Christ will be about the voluntary coming together of independent persons to achieve a divine purpose in a divinely approved manner. That is the unity that the Psalmist says will achieve all those earlier listed advantages.
So how can such a seemingly simple act of aggregating together but which remains a huge challenge, be achieved, if only for the purpose of reaping all those benefits? The following points which are definitely not exhaustive must be observed;
1. The Foundation of the group must be placed on only one spiritual interest with every other spiritual power effectively suppressed. Note that the word eliminated is not being used here.
2. Individual egos must be completely eliminated as the only ego that should be recognised and massaged must be that of the Almighty God.
3. The effect of differences in the backgrounds of each constituent unit on their character and thought process must be clearly understood, considered and addressed with reasonable period of patience for adjustments allowed, in order to engender effective unification of ideas and purposes.
4. The group must work hard at ensuring the unification of the operational spirit which in this case must be the Holy Spirit.
5. Each constituent unit must be willing to sacrifice personal interests for common interests which in itself must be the interest of the Almighty God.
6. There must be consistency in the application of measures and standards in order to give a true feeling of belonging to each constituent unit. The use of multiple standards for the same activity, to be applied based on personalities, will introduce the “we and them” belief among constituent units and this will always work against Unity.
There is no doubt that with Unity, a lot can be achieved, not just in a Christian group but in any group for that matter and this objective of having Unity must be focused on at all times for the group to be progressive. State of unity does not develop by co-incidence but
i. it is a state that develops by deliberately taken steps by all, especially the leadership.
ii. It is not achieved by mere preaching or desire but by working with the determination to achieve it.
iii. Strategies for achieving this goal must be set and vigorously pursued with regular review when and where necessary.
iv. Leadership must arrange constant teachings aimed at achieving this goal.
v. Like Peace, whatever level of Unity achieved must be jealously guarded as it is not achieved in one day but grows gradually.
vi. However leadership must be able to identify little and positive steps being made and also be determined to retain it. That again will come with the attribute of patience and forbearance with all the constituent units of the group as the rate of personal development and growth varies from one individual to the other.
vii. It is good to pray for peace of Jerusalem but the constituent units of Jerusalem must also be made to see the goodness of Jerusalem for them to grow into the belief, must agree on a strategy to achieve and retain the desired Unity and must be resolute in achieving this Unity with the readiness to make all the personal sacrifices necessary for its evolution.
Seems difficult? No! It is not, because with God, all things, yes I mean all things are possible. May God Himself facilitate all that is necessary including willingness of the people to be submissive to His directives so as to achieve the Unity that will engender growth and development amongst brethren in Jesus name. Amen.