There is a common phrase that I am sure many of us have heard before about unity. That phrase is “Unity commands a blessing“. It is one of those phrases that usually makes people scratch their heads and ask the question, “Is that in the Bible?”. Well is it? It sounds Biblical…
After a little research I discovered this particular statement does come from the Bible… sort’ve… It is one of those sayings that roots in the Bible, but can be misused and misconstrued quickly. Most credit this saying from Psalm 133.
1 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, life forevermore. – Psalm 133 ESV
If you look closely it is in there. In verse 1 David says that it is good and pleasant when brothers dwell in unity, and then in verse 3 it says that there the Lord commanded the blessing. However we have completely skipped the verse in the middle. I have found we do this often… We omit or misinterpret portions of scripture simply so we can arrive at the point we are trying to make. There is nothing more detrimental than ignoring portions of scripture because they don’t line up with the way we think or the way we want God to be. The WHOLE Bible is the infallible word of God!
So, does unity really command a blessing?
Yes and No
There are plenty of scripture and current stories where people were united, but still didn’t receive the commanded blessing of God. What about the story of Babel in Genesis 11? We see the people are completely united for a cause, but here they actually receive the opposite of a blessing. Why? They were united for their own cause, to build their own pride, and to protect themselves from their fears and insecurity. They were united, but united in the wrong things. Things that didn’t line up with God and His Word.
So, if you want your unity to receive the commanded blessing of God, here are some things to consider.
- Be united in holy kingship. Many theologians believe that this particular psalm was written when all of the tribes of Israel got together and decided unanimously to appoint David as king of Israel. Before this time, Israel was 12 dysfunctional tribes that couldn’t seem to make any real progress. After they were united under David’s kingship we see them begin to flourish. If we want our unity to receive the commanded blessing of God, we must be united in His Kingship over our lives. Is he really your king? Do you listen when He speaks? Do you obey? Do you trust… even when it doesn’t make sense?
- The OIL. David begins to relate this moment of unity to the oil being poured on the high priest. This wasn’t any ordinary oil, but it was the anointing oil of God that was used when the high priest ministered. It is important to note that the priest wasn’t allowed to minister unless this oil was poured on him. What should we know about the oil? First, the oil was fragrant for all who were around. It was pleasing. Is that how others would describe our lives? Secondly, the oil was to be made with 5 specific ingredients(olive oil and 4 specific spices). Our lives should exemplify the words Jesus himself instructed. We should show grace and love to all. We should be bearers of hope in every situation and peacemakers whenever it is up to us.
- The DEW. The dew came from mount Hermon and fell on the mountains of Zion. Hermon was a common place and Zion was the place of God. This dew was in abundance and actually increased fertility of the land in which it fell. This means that the common place, blessed the place of God. If we have to “turn on” our christianity, I fear we have missed the point. Does your common time bring blessing to the kingdom of God? Does it bring blessing to the church?
- ZION. The moment after David talks about Zion, he says, “There the Lord has commanded a blessing”. Where is “There”? There is the Zion, so it is there, in Zion that the Lord has commanded a blessing when we dwell in unity. In order for our unity to command a blessing, we must be united for a kingdom purpose. It can’t be unity, for unity’s sake. It has to be more. Are we givers of grace and love? Does our everyday common routine bring abundance and fruitfulness to the kingdom of God? Are we peacemakers? Are we growing the kingdom? Are we bearers of hope? Do we show that God’s love is for all? Let us unite in these things, and there the Lord will command His blessing!