“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1 ESV).
To say that brothers don’t always dwell together in unity is an understatement. The biblical witness provides us with too many examples of this sad truth. There was Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau and Joseph and his brothers. Moses and Aaron had their problems (Numbers 12), David was opposed by his oldest brother (1 Samuel 17), and Jesus told a story about an older brother who had an issue with the way his younger brother was treated. Brothers!
But brothers can and do find ways to reconcile, come together, and enjoy unity. It happened with Jacob and Esau as well as with Joseph and his brothers. James and John served the Lord together.
Psalm 133 is a celebration of brothers (and more) coming together. In the context, they were not people who had been separated due to enmity with one another—their disconnect was geographical. The annual feasts in Jerusalem provided the opportunity for the nation to come together, if just for a brief window of time.
Most of us have had a similar, if smaller, experience. If you have attended a large gathering of disciples (like Exposure), or a national workshop or lectureship, you have experienced what Israel did. It’s rare air. You are around a lot of people, most of them you don’t know, but with few exceptions, they all belong to Christ! Furthermore, they have come together not for an athletic or entertainment event—but to celebrate their faith with others. To look around and see so many people singing the same songs that you sing back home in your much smaller group every week—well, it is heady stuff.
It is good and pleasant! Our cup overflows with joy spilling over like the drops of anointing oil running down the beard of Aaron or the heavy due of Mt. Hermon falling on Mt. Zion. For Israel and us it is a foretaste of a future that is out of this world.