How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity. It is like the precious oil on the head, running down upon the beard of Aaron, running down over the collar of his robes. Psalm 133:2
If you’re familiar with King David’s story, you know that he was probably a better ruler than a parent. He triggered a string of unfortunate consequences when he sinned with Bathsheba. To make matters worse, he tried to cover it up by having her husband, Uriah, killed in battle. Even though God forgave David, He didn’t hold back David’s consequences. “Thus says the Lord: ‘I will raise up trouble against you from within your own house…”’ David’s consequences included a tumultuous home. His son Absalom plotted to overthrow him, David’s other son, Amnon, raped his half-sister, Tamar, then Absalom took revenge two years later and killed Amnon. It isn’t hard to see why David’s home starved for unity.
I can’t help but wonder if David wrote Psalm 133 while enjoying a rare moment in his household in which things had quieted down, his family members were getting along for however brief it might have been, and he reflected on how sweet unity is “when kindred live together in unity” (verse 1).
Because spiritual unity was rarely a part of my home growing up, I can relate to David’s desire and appreciation for harmonious relationships. At the time I left home for college, many of my family relationships laid in ruins. And the devastation extended several generations deep. Disunity had a strong foothold. When my husband, Ray, and I began our family, nurturing a spirit of unity in our military home became paramount. My heart’s desire was to stop the cycle of disunity that began with the three generations before me.
Let’s see what golden nuggets are tucked in this beautiful psalm.
In verse 2, David makes a comparison. It says, “It [unity] is like the precious oil on the head, running down upon the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down over the collar of his robes.” Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Its purpose was to bless someone for a particular calling. Aaron was Israel’s first high priest. He was anointed with oil for his new role. Recall that Mary anointed Jesus before His death on the cross. Once she broke the jar open, the sweet fragrance permeated the air. Likewise, when we live in spiritual unity with our own families our homes are blessed with the sweet fragrance of harmonious relationships.
Unity also serves another purpose. David provides a hint in the second part of verse 2. It says: “…running down on the beard of Aaron…running down over the collar of his robes.” Oil spilling over Aaron’s beard and running down over his robes conveys the idea of spreading out to others. Thus, when unity is present in our homes, it multiplies and unifies. What happens when we unite? We become one, but stronger. A spirit of unity also deepens our resolve. This resolve is that tough inner edge to persevere; it is what aids in building resilience for those hard days of military life. Psalm 133: 2 provides us with a beautiful illustration of what a blessed home looks like.
When unity is the prevailing rhythm and energy of your military home, it not only multiplies, by extending to others, but it reaches down to successive generations-to your children to be lived out in their homes.
Next, we’ll unpack the meaning of a unique metaphor in our final verse of Psalm 133 that also includes an interesting geography lesson revealing how to maintain a spirit of unity. You don’t want to miss part 2.