Songs of Ascent 15. - Behold, How Good & How Pleasant ~ Psalm 133
Song of Ascent 15. – Behold, How Good & How Pleasant ~ Psalm 133
Text: Psalm 133
Introduction: We live in a world full of war and hate. So what is this Psalmist talking about? There is not a bitter cry in this psalm, only sweetness and light which is a notable ascent from Psalm 120. There we found a pilgrim in a country full of war and much lamentation. Here we are encouraged to “Behold” a beauty beyond all others, the union of men, women and children of different tribes and languages, gathered around a common mercy seat.
I. Behold this awesome and wonderful display!
A. This is seldom seen, therefore “Behold it!”
B. This is not a mere exclamation. So, do not take just a glance. He fully intends for us to inspect it with our own eyes.
C. He does not attempt to measure the goodness or the pleasantness, but encourages us to behold it for ourselves. It is the union of the saints all dwelling together in sweet communion and fellowship.
D. No one could tell the excellence of this state of dwelling of men so he uses the word how twice: “Behold, how good and how pleasant.”
Why does he want us to behold it?
II. Unity is a rare thing.
A. This is something that is extremely rare. There is no unity. Have you every wondered, “WHY is it so rare?”
B. Because men try to unite without God and it is always out of their reach.
C. Men try to unite by uniformity. Is there a difference between uniformity (or sameness) and unity (or agreement).
D. To act together, work together, pray together in order to begin to feel the spirit of unity has missed true unity.
E. This elusive wonder of true unity is only produced and accomplished by God Himself in the power and work of redemption in Christ. Ephesians 1.10
III. God has created and produced unity by bringing together all things in Christ and it exhibited only in His Church.
A. It is the central object of salvation and purpose of the New Covenant to bring together what was destroyed by sin.
B. It is enacted by the Holy Spirit which is why Paul refers to this as the “unity of the Spirit.”
C. Anything else is utterly and entirely unscriptural.
What makes this good? Or I should say, “Who makes this good?”
IV. Look How Good & How Pleasant this is.
A. The Psalmist is intent on demonstratively convincing us with the evidence of both the goodness and the pleasantness of this thing we are beholding.
B. Many things are pleasant that are not good and much is good that is not all that pleasant; chastisements and fleshy indulgences for example.
Just how good and how pleasant is this?
V. It is Like the Oil poured out on the head and the dew on Hermon.
A. This is in reference to the High Priest Aaron being anointed with the beautifully fragranced oil reserved for the High Priest alone.
B. Jesus Christ our High Priest, the Anointed One, was sealed by the Father.
C. Notice the oil was poured out at the top. Christ alone receives the Spirit without measure.
D. It’s way is downward. It “ran down” and “went down” to the lowest part of the one body of Christ. Even the servants can join into the glorious singing of praise to the Father, for they experience it as well.
E. When the oil began to flow, it could not and would not be restrained (Mary’s alabaster box is broken). It’s goodness and pleasure are experienced and shared by the lowest and least members of the body of Christ.
F. It cannot be controlled. It reaches through every boundary or race, language, class and stature.
G. Likewise, the highest pinnacle of Hermon received the dew that descended and fell upon the humble and low mountains of Zion, God’s church.
H. In the dew is the fullness of life and growth for all the plants of grace. None can go without its life giving flow.
“For the promise is to you, to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
VI. This pouring out of the Spirit is experimentally applied to all saints by the power of Divine Love.
A. The church has this unity because God has purposed in Himself to “Bring together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth – in Him.” (Ephesians 1.10)
B. The previous Psalm spoke of the covenant that was in the Anointed – Christ Jesus. Psalm 132.10-11
C. The covenant was then by extension to Zion. Psalm 132.13-18
B. Therefore remember this says Paul, “You were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” Ephesians 2.11-16
C. “But now In Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” He has broken down the wall of separation!
VII. Here is the beauty of both the goodness and the pleasantness of it.
- We all are redeemed from this cursed world full of all its hate, cursing, strife, ruin and death to be eternally swallowed up by the immense and unifying love of God.
- It is not temporal to pass away like the morning dew, but the blessing of eternal life, both now and forever.
VIII. We must Endeavor to Keep the Unity of the Spirit in Peace.
- Be a friend of Jesus and decrease. John 3.29-30
- Think soberly. Romans 12.3
- Walk worthy of the calling with which you were called. Ephesians 4.1
- Bear with one another with lowliness, gentleness and longsuffering. Ephesians 4.2
- In short, pursue love! 1 Corinthians 14.1
Conclusion: It is fitting that the closing Song of Ascent would conclude with a jubilant: “Behold, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who by night stand in the house of the LORD! Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD. The LORD who made heaven and earth bless you from Zion!”
From Meshech and the dark tents of Kedar the pilgrim first cried out in distress unto the LORD in Psalm 120. From the cursed beginning that was all deceit, war and hate, he has ascended to the lofty heights filled with nothing but the blessing which God commanded. In the darkest of night, you can lift your hands in adoration and blessing to the LORD! All is blessing. The people bless one another. They all bless the LORD. It is so that you and I can say to all, “The LORD who made heaven and earth bless you from Zion!”