Psalms for the Journey
As we raised three children, two girls and one boy in the middle, we learned many things, but one the greatest was how we felt when they fought with each other. It grieved us and even made us physically ill at times. Yes, all kids disagree, yell a bit and want to throw a punch once awhile until we, as parents intervene and put a stop to it. We send them to opposite corners of the house or to their rooms until the anger of not getting their way calms down and we could talk it out rationally.
There were a few times as they got older that we gave them 1 Corinthians 13 to read over and over until they stopped gritting their teeth as they read aloud and could understand it’s meaning for living life and getting along. Many of you are probably smiling now at this image. Or you are appalled that we would use God’s Word to calm the situation.
NOW, many years, later as mature adults, it brings us tremendous joy to see our children love each other and their families, to stand by each other and always help each other. Is this how God feels when He sees His children get along? The Psalmist David says it is wonderful, beautiful, like costly oil running down to anoint us and refresh us. God’s Holy Spirit does that for us now. God is pleased greatly when brothers and sisters in His church, the Body of Christ, love each other well.
So, as Jesus taught, we must do everything within our means to bring peace, to love each other as God loves us and to get along. Paul wrote the Corinthians…Love is the greatest. Love is putting others ahead of yourself. Put God first, above all, realizing how much He loves us and we will love each other more deeply.
Psalm 133, The Message
A Pilgrim Song of David
1-3 How wonderful, how beautiful,
when brothers and sisters get along!
It’s like costly anointing oil
flowing down head and beard,
Flowing down Aaron’s beard,
flowing down the collar of his priestly robes.
It’s like the dew on Mount Hermon
flowing down the slopes of Zion.
Yes, that’s where God commands the blessing,
ordains eternal life.
The Back Story…
David was king of Judah and Benjamin and ruled in Hebron for seven and a half years. He inherited a divided nation and almost a civil war, but then the Lord gave him a united kingdom. He could well have written this psalm when he began his reign in Jerusalem. The people usually journeyed to Jerusalem in family groups (see Luke 2:41-52), so this psalm perfectly suited the situation. It applies to individual believers and churches today, for we also have our “family quarrels” and need to learn to walk together in love.