Seek Peace! (Psalm 133; Psalm 106)

Scripture reading – Psalm 133; Psalm 106

Today’s Scripture reading is taken from two chapters of Psalms. The focus of this devotional will be  Psalm 133. If time allows, I hope to post an additional devotional centered on Psalm 106.

The prior devotional in 1 Chronicles 12 concluded with the men of war from the Twelve Tribes of Israel assembling at Hebron. There, those mighty warriors crowned David as king, and assured him of their allegiance.

For a brief season, Israel enjoyed a spirit of unity that is rare, even among God’s people. Each man was a veteran of war, and some were champions in the eyes of the people, but they all came “to make David king over all Israel: and all the rest also of Israel were of one heart to make David king” (12:38). For three days “they were with David…eating and drinking…and there was joy in Israel” (12:39-40).

Psalm 133 – A Festive Psalm

“A Song of Degrees of David” is the title of Psalm 133. This psalm is believed to have been among those sung by pilgrims in their journey to Jerusalem. Ascending the hills to the holy city, one can almost hear the very hills of Israel ringing with the sound of worshippers going to offer sacrifices at the Temple. The beauty of the Psalm is inspiring, and scholars suggest it was written shortly after David’s coronation when he and Israel enjoyed a time of unity and peace.

David wrote, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1)

The thought of unity in a world that boasts diversity is almost beyond comprehension; however, it is possible among believers who love the LORD, and practice self-sacrificing love. In his epistle to the church in Galatia, Paul did not encourage believers to boast in their diversity, but to embrace the spiritual unity that is found in Christ. Paul wrote, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

The joy of unity is so sweet, that Paul described it in the terms of the sweet fragrant oil that was poured upon the head of Aaron when he was anointed high priest (Exodus 30:22-33). The aroma of the “precious ointment,” a symbol of the Holy Spirit, flowed down Aaron’s beard, over the breastplate of twelve stones that symbolized the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and “down to the skirts of his garments” (133:2).

Psalm 133:3 takes in a picture of the snow covered peak of Mount Hermon. Rising to 10,000 feet, it is the highest point on the Mediterranean Sea, and when the snows melt, the water flow feeds the Jordan River, bringing water to Israel and her crops.

What is the application? As the water that flows from the mount gives life to His people, so the blessings of the LORD rest upon the sweet fellowship of believers who “dwell together in unity” (133:3).

Closing challenge: Don’t allow anger and bitterness to quench the Holy Spirit and rob you of joy. “Depart from evil, and do good; Seek peace, and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14), “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints” (1 Corinthians 14:33).

Copyright 2021 – Travis D. Smith