Summary: This from a series I preached on the Psalms.
Title: Spiritual Unity Scripture: Psalm 133
Type: Series/Expository Where: GNBC 11-22-20
Intro: What is spiritual unity? Are union and unity the same thing? I once heard an old preacher say the following: “You can tie two cats’ tails together and fling them over a clothes line. You may have union, but you do not have unity!” Scripture is the basis of unity! Jesus defined the oneness He wanted His followers to have as reflective of the unity He shares with the Father (John 17:20-21). Paul, emphasizes the importance of unity, saying that we are to “be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). Unity is clearly defined as existing within a diligence to preserve the truth of “one body…one spirit…one hope…one Lord, one faith, one baptism…one God and Father of all…” (Eph. 4:4-6). The NT tells us in specific terms what’s involved in each of these. Attempting to be tied and bound to those who reject or attempt to change what Scripture says about these is not biblical unity. It amounts to tying together what’s incompatible and incongruous. King David outlines for us in Ps. 133 the importance of spiritual unity.
Prop: By dividing Ps. 133 into 3 parts we’ll see the value of Christian unity.
BG: 1. One of the shortest Psalms. Only 117 is shorter at 2 verses. 131&134 also 3 verses.
2. Psalm is attributed to King David.
3. Hard to preach expository message from such a short Psalm.
Prop: Let’s examine Ps. 133 in 3 parts so as to better appreciate the value of Christian unity.
I. The Passage: vv.1-3
A. First let’s Examine the Passage.
1. Notice how King David begins this Psalm.
a. “Behold”. David begins by drawing attention to this strange phenomenon…UNITY! Illust: This of a Barker at a circus, Carney at a fair, announcer at a beauty pageant- “Behold”. The unveiling of a piece of art or a new concept car. “Behold” The idea is we are to gave upon a wonder seldom seen, something that is worthy of admiration. It draws our attention because it is unique and beautiful.
b. What is this announcement that David wants his readers to ponder? Plans for the Temple? Conquest of another nation? Delegation from afar coming to praise the King? Another wife for the king? NO! It is a concept, the concept of Spiritual Unity. Illust: If there has ever been a time in our nation since the Civil War that we have been so very divided I don’t know when. That is understandable in the nation. But what I am speaking of is the Church. The Church & our church would do well to dwell on lyrics of David’s Psalm.
2. What is the setting of this passage?
a. Most commentators assume David was writing one of the joyful celebrations Israel enjoyed. Three times a year the nation celebrated major festivals that marked their calendar during the time of David: Pesach (Passover), Shavout (Pentecost/Weeks), and Sukkot (Tabernacles/Booths). During these celebrations the citizens of Israel would make a pilgrimage to the Tabernacle, and later the Temple in Jerusalem to worship. The City of David would be replete with joyful worshipers gathered together for the same purpose.
b. Illust: Coming together for a common purpose is a characteristic of the human condition. Illust: Lions, Kiwanis, Rotary are service orgs. VFW shared experience. Historical: Sons/Daughters of the American Revolution. Sports: Every college and professional team has a fan base.
B. David Demonstrates the Blessing of Spiritual Unity.
1. David describes the condition of Spiritual Unity with Two key words.
a. David uses two adjectives to declare how excellent this condition is: “good” and “pleasant”. This is a remarkable thing David describes. For something to be “good” is good, but for it to be “pleasant” is another. Now David does not attempt to quantify either the good or the pleasant so I won’t attempt to either. He simply wants the reader to ponder the truth. Illust: When I was a kid and went to my hometown theater, had a grand counter of concessions. One of the candies for sale: “Good and Plenty”. (1st intro in 1893!), depending on your experience looked like a generic antihistamine! What was the concept trying to communicate: Good/Plenty. Tasted good. Plenty for you. So the “good” was made better by the “plenty”. “Good” is made better by the “pleasant”.
b. Hopefully we have all experienced v.1. However, I also know that everyone who has been a Christian for very long has also experienced its corollary: “How bad and miserable it is when brothers are divided.” Is it possible for brothers and sisters to disagree and yet maintain unity? By God’s grace, yes we can!
2. Christian Unity is a Good thing to be Jealously Preserved.