Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Psalm 133 – Harmony and Holy Joy

A King delighting in what he sees: “See how good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live together in harmony!” ~Psalm 133:1 (GWT).

In the Great Hall of Cair Paravel, the mythical palace estate in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (2005), music plays, the royals dance with their commoners, and there is much communal feasting. There is cause for celebration. The kingdom has earned a prophetic victory. There is now no barrier to unity.

That is the setting of this psalm. And it is so apt that it comes imminently before approach to the Temple on the annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem.


The first word of this psalm, which is unfortunately lost in most translations (including GOD’S WORD Translation above), is the Hebrew word, hinneh—meaning “behold!”

A cursory glance back into the holy nation’s history (2 Samuel 5:1-5) takes us to David, King of the then united kingdom—Israel and Judah. We can very well imagine this King—probably around 38 years of age—glorying in this sense of harmonious unification.

During this short three-verse psalm we see one plain theme: the harmony of the throng, and the holy joy that’s produced within the King. Perhaps the whole psalm can be summed up in the first word; this king is marvelling at what he sees before him. “Take note!” in other words.

It’s his dream come true.

The King’s Cup Runneth Over – As Does Israel’s and Judah’s

Allusions to the imagery of ‘precious oil poured onto the head, running down upon the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down over the collar of his robes’ really puts the moment into correct perspective.

We might wonder what on earth all the fuss is about.

But the idea, in those times, that the high priest’s oil of anointing might be so extravagantly felt, at least attempts to summarise the King’s joy. “Aaron” is perhaps symbolic for the historic nation. It is not just the King’s joy—but the nation’s, also.

A second image is like it. The dew of Hermon is seen falling on the mountains of Zion. This is an inclusive portrayal of the bright geo-political landscape; of the connectedness between all who call Yahweh, God.

Contemporary Relevance

This is a vision for the church; the global church.

Under every denomination and spiritual bent in Christ, it is our King’s keenest desire that the church would be one; that every brother and sister would find harmony in the company of each other, and that nationally and internationally a universal love would pervade the realm of Christianity. Yes, the church will be complete... One day. Maranatha! (Come, Jesus, come!)

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

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