The Blessing of Brotherly Unity
UNITY is certainly a blessing. Through the united effort of many, much more can be accomplished than by just one person alone. When people are getting along well with one another, they find great joy in working together.
David wrote under inspiration about the blessing of brotherly unity. Since all the Israelites were descendants of the one man Jacob, David’s words at Psalm 133 really applied to the whole nation. Today devoted Christians are members of a worldwide brotherhood and so should strive to maintain the delightful unity described by the psalmist. “Look! How good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity! It is like the good oil upon the head, that is running down upon the beard, Aaron’s beard, that is running down to the collar of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon that is descending upon the mountains of Zion. For there Jehovah commanded the blessing to be, even life to time indefinite.”—Ps. 133:1-3.
When all the tribes of Israel would come to Jerusalem for the three annual festivals, they had the opportunity to dwell together in unity. Though coming from various tribes, they were but one family of brothers. Their being together had a pleasing and wholesome influence. The effect of this dwelling together in unity was like good anointing oil—a refreshing substance with a lingering and pleasing aroma. The oil poured upon Aaron’s head flowed down his long beard and ran down to the collar of his garment. Likewise, the wholesome effect of the Israelites’ being together had a permeating influence, working its way through the assembled people. This resulted in clearing up misunderstandings and in removing prejudices. It was as if the good oil had pervaded everything. The credit for this, of course, would go to Jehovah God from whom all blessings flow.
Similarly, when such brotherly unity as the psalmist describes exists among Christians, there is no quarreling, faultfinding or constant complaining. But their associating together is good, wholesome and beneficial. United in the bond of love, they are actively concerned about one another and enjoy being together. Their unity brings them delight or pleasure because of the mutual encouragement and upbuilding that results. Any misunderstandings or difficulties can be removed as all unitedly approach Jehovah God in humility, desiring his guidance, help and forgiveness for their transgressions.
Israel’s dwelling together in unity was also like the dew of Mount Hermon. That mountain, having an elevation of over 9,000 feet (2,700 m) above sea level, is snowcapped nearly the year around. Hermon’s snowy top serves to condense the night vapors and in this way produces the abundant dew that preserves vegetation during the long dry season. Cold air currents from the Hermon range can also carry the vapors as far south as Mount Zion, there to condense as dew. So the psalmist correctly spoke of the ‘dew of Hermon as descending upon Mount Zion.’ The picture is of a descending influence, a refreshing influence, that contributes toward the preservation of vegetation.
The unity of Christian brothers is just as delightful. It, too, has life-preserving potential. This is so because, when observing the love existing among God’s true servants today, many persons begin to wonder about the source of this unity. Their investigation then gets them started on the way leading to life.
Before the establishment of the Christian congregation, Zion, or Jerusalem, was the center of true worship. So, since this was the place that Jehovah God had chosen, it was there that the Most High commanded the blessing to be. He, the Source of all blessings, resided representatively at the sanctuary in Jerusalem; so blessings could be spoken of as coming from there. In this sense, the whole life of the nation of Israel was linked with Jerusalem, or Zion.
Because true worship is no longer dependent upon any geographical location, the love among God’s servants should be in evidence everywhere. (John 4:21, 23, 24) This love is what really distinguishes the genuine disciples of Jesus Christ. The Son of God said: “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves.” (John 13:35) Surely we should work hard to display this love so that our unity with fellow believers can be likened to fragrant anointing oil and the refreshing dew of Mount Hermon.