psalm 133 image






The Goodness and Pleasantness of Unity

With unity we can have our cake and eat it too!

Psalm 133

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • September 16, In the year of our Lord, 2018


  1. My Step-Father would say
    1. that my brother and I fought
    2. about the time of day.
      1. If I said it is about 10 after 6,
      2. my brother would say it is 6:12.
  2. Once my brother and I were picking on our sister.
    1. She cried out to our Mom for help, but
    2. my mom just said in exasperation,
      1. tired of the fighting
      2. and the whining about it,
        1. “Oh, be quiet, Laura, take care of it yourself.”
        2. My sister was horrified.
        3. My brother and I enjoyed it.
  3. We had some neighbors where we first lived in Klamath Falls
    1. and the boy was simply
      1. sitting,
      2. not speaking
      3. and not touching his sister, but
        1. he was staring
        2. at her.
    2. She complained to her mother
      1. Mom, Matt is staring at me! but
      2. the mother did nothing.
  4. Siblings fight, but
    1. when they are getting along
    2. it is good and pleasant.
      1. Parents love it when their children get along with one another
      2. And look at who wrote this Psalm, David!
        1. He had a son who raped one of David’s daughters.
        2. He had another son who killed one that brother.
          1. When David’s children were in unity,
          2. he would have loved it greatly.
  5. Christians are siblings in the Spirit, and
    1. sometimes we fight, but
    2. when we get along with one another,
      1. God must say that
      2. it is good and it is pleasant.
    3. If you have seen a congregation with internal conflict and then
      1. another one with unity,
      2. you saw something good and pleasant.
  6. Psalm 133 speaks of brethren in unity, but
    1. it forms part of the Songs of Ascents.
    2. Picture Jews from all over the land of Israel
      1. arriving at Jerusalem for worship
      2. after their long journey, climbing the hills to get there.
        1. Then they see the swelling of the numbers and
        2. old family members and friends
          1. that they had not seen for a while.
          2. It was a moment of celebration.
            1. It allowed them to experience unity on a national level.
            2. That would have felt as good as
              1. moisture on dry land and
              2. the beginning of their precious religion.


  1. Psalm 133.1 | Brethren in Unity Is Good and Pleasant

    1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
    For brethren to dwell together in unity!
    (Psa 133.1)

    1. When you buy a six-pack of soft drinks and empty it
      1. you are left with six rings.
      2. They are together in union.
        1. Each one can be pulled apart easily, but
        2. fold them together
          1. to make one ring and
          2. they are almost impossible to break.
        3. That is brethren in unity,
          1. like the children of Israel in Judges 20:

            1 So all the children of Israel came out, from Dan to Beersheba, as well as from the land of Gilead, and the congregation gathered together as one man before the LORD at Mizpah (Judges 20.1).

            8 So all the people arose as one man, saying, “None of us will go to his tent, nor will any turn back to his house…” (Judges 20.8).

            11 So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, united together as one man (Judges 20.11).

    2. It is significance that David put good and pleasant together, because
      1. some things are good, but
        1. not pleasant.
        2. Discipline:

          11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it (Heb 12.11).
      2. Other things are pleasant, but
        1. not good.
        2. Sin:

          25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin (Heb 11.25).
    3. However, brethren in unity is both good and pleasant.
      1. You can have your cake, that is good, and
      2. you can eat it too, that is pleasant.
  2. Psalm 133.2 | Unity Is Like Anointing Oil

    2 It is like the precious oil upon the head,
    Running down on the beard,
    The beard of Aaron,
    Running down on the edge of his garments.
    (Psa 133.2)

    1. The anointing of Aaron began their sacrificial system,
      1. hence it began God’s new religion.
      2. That was good and pleasant to Israel.
    2. Exodus 30 comments on the uniqueness of this oil.
      1. Verses 23–24 speak of the chief spices used:

        23 Also take for yourself quality spices—five hundred shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much sweet-smelling cinnamon (two hundred and fifty shekels), two hundred and fifty shekels of sweet-smelling cane, 24 five hundred shekels of cassia, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and a hin of olive oil (Exo 30.23–24).

        1. While you may not know every spice,
        2. they all probably sound delicious.
      2. Verse 25

        25 And you shall make from these a holy anointing oil, an ointment compounded according to the art of the perfumer. It shall be a holy anointing oil (Exo 30.25).
      3. Verse 30 reveals that this oil
        1. sanctified Aaron
        2. in order that he might minister as priest:

          30 And you shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister to Me as priests (Exo 30.30).
      4. Verses 32–33 really show the preciousness of this oil.
        1. They could not use it on anyone else or for anything else.

          32 It shall not be poured on man’s flesh; nor shall you make any other like it, according to its composition. It is holy, and it shall be holy to you. 33 Whoever compounds any like it, or whoever puts any of it on an outsider, shall be cut off from his people (Exo 30.32–33).
    3. Brethren in unity is just this precious.
      1. When you watch the disunity of the world and then
      2. see the unity of brethren, you see it as precious as this oil.
  3. Psalm 133.3 | Unity Is Like Moisture on a Dry Land

    3 It is like the dew of Hermon,
    Descending upon the mountains of Zion;
    For there the LORD commanded the blessing—
    Life forevermore.
    (Psa 133.3).

    1. Mt. Hermon stands north of Palestine,
      1. at over 9,200 feet.
      2. At that elevation it produces
        1. large quantities of snow and
        2. a heavy rain-like dew comes from it.
      3. Mountains that high create their own weather,
        1. affecting in a positive way
        2. the area below for many miles around.
    2. Mt. Zion (which is Jerusalem) is parched and dry.
      1. Therefore, dew from Mt. Hermon is a welcomed sight.
      2. It literally brings life to the land.
        1. Think of our area right now.
        2. Could we use a heavy dew to help put out the fires?
    3. Brethren in unity brings life to brethren and to the world.


  1. The Israelites went to Zion for worship.
    1. A few times a year,
    2. virtually everyone went there.
  2. For an Israelite to witness such a sight,
    1. would have cheered his heart,
    2. reminding him that he is in the family of God.