Where God Commands the Blessing

   “Where God commands the blessing” is a phrase from scripture.  Psalm 133 opens with “Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” (KJV).  I decided to read on and saw that God has some expectations regarding this truthful statement.  Here’s the context of this verse as translated in The Message:

   How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along! It’s like costly anointing oil flowing down the head and beard, flowing down the collar of his priestly robe. It’s like the dew on Mount Hermon flowing down the slopes of Zion. Yes, that’s where God commands the blessing, eternal.

     I don’t fully understand the significance of the poet’s use of simile (word pictures).  Evidently the oil flowing down Aaron’s beard and the dew on Mount Hermon symbolize the blessings and joy of being in God’s presence.  I would paraphrase the final line by saying, “God ordains unity, expects it, and delights in it.”  God sends his blessing where there is unity. We could focus on verse one and the lofty thought that we are unified, but the final verse calls us out (challenges us) if there is still enmity and strife among us.

     Unity is an essential ingredient of life together.  Before you or I try to facilitate the connecting of people, we would do well to consider how well we are connected.  If what I say doesn’t line up with what I do, others will see the disconnect.  Also, if things aren’t going well, it’s unfair to place all the blame on the leader or someone else in the group.  Each person must do his or her part.  When people get along in the workplace, in sports, music, church, school, family, and other areas of life, much can be accomplished.  On the other hand, progress is hampered when there is dissention.   

     In John 15:12 Jesus said: “This is my commandment:  Love each other in the same way I have loved you.”  Prior to that he said: “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy.  Yes, your joy will overflow” (John 15:11, NLT).  It’s exciting to see a team working or playing together with a sense of joy and unified purpose.  

     Sometimes we have difficulty relating to some of the people with whom we work or serve.  Are you, am I, willing to reach out to them and work things out?

Prayer:  Lord, help us to be more aware of other people’s needs and interests.  Forgive us for the times we’ve contributed to the building of walls. Help us build bridges instead.  Help us to think twice before we speak, so that our words of encouragement or correction are life-giving.  In Jesus’ name, Amen 

Dr. Ron Sprunger, Professor emeritus, Ashland Theological Seminary

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