Psalm 133

Psalm 133 is a simple, refreshing celebration of the precious blessing of unity among God’s children.  Living in harmony may not always be easy, but the result is life-giving peace. Follow along in the lyrics for "Together" as we meditate on these verses.

VERSE 1

Unity, the central theme of this psalm, is emphasized by declaring “Behold!” Pay attention! King David, the psalmist, was known as a man of war. 1 The unity praised in this psalm is made all the more precious by way of contrast to the constant threats which accompanied David’s rise to the throne, as well as his sons’ rebellion later in life. David understood the importance of seeking peace, 2 despite and perhaps even more poignantly because of the tumultuous circumstances of much of his life.

  1. 1 Kings 5:3 (ESV): “You know that David my father could not build a house for the name of the LORD his God because of the warfare with which his enemies surrounded him, until the LORD put them under the soles of his feet.”

    The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

  1. Psalm 34:12, 14b (ESV): What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good? […] seek peace and pursue it.

    The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

VERSE 2

The first metaphor, centering around the High Priest, shows that the bond David speaks of is not general goodwill, but spiritual union from God our Father and His Holy Spirit poured out on us. The origin and purpose of our unity is worshipping God in truth and in spirit. 3 Without this purity, the unfortunate but inevitable result is conflict. 4 But just as Aaron’s oil poured upon the head spread to his beard and even the corner of his robe, all who are united to Christ our spiritual head will experience the blessing of unity with each other also. 5

  1. John 4:21-23 (ESV): Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.”

    The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

  1. Matthew 10:34, 37; 1 Tim 6:3-4 (ESV): “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. […]Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

    If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions,

    The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

  1. Eph 2:19-20, Col 3:11 (ESV): So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,

    Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

    The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

VERSE 3

The second metaphor, dew on Zion and Hermon, shows that holy unity is not merely a pleasant option but vital, life-giving. In his last hours, the Lord prayed for unity to mark his followers. 6 What affects one of us, affects all of us. 7 Water is a basic necessity for physical life, and unity is a basic necessity for spiritual life. The God of peace commands his blessing on those who live in peace. 8

  1. John 17:20-21 (ESV): “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

    The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

  1. 1 Corinthians 12:26 (ESV): If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

    The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

  1. 2 Corinthians 13:11 (ESV): Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

    The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.


Note: Many of the thoughts in this post were shaped by John Calvin’s Commentary on Psalms.We encourage you to continue exploring the psalms by reading his work!

Emily MooreTogether, Unity