July 10, 2017
(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
Psalm 133 is one of the shortest chapters in the Bible. But these three verses show forth One Anothering in a great way:
Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the
beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the
dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the
LORD commanded the blessing — life forevermore.
First, some understanding of this psalm is required:
✡ Why is oil running down Aaron’s head, beard, and garments like brethren that dwell together in unity? It refers to Aaron’s anointing to consecrate him as the first high priest of Israel! (See Exodus 40:12, 13). Aaron represented all the Israelites before God – in a sense binding them together as one holy people!
✡ Why is the dew of Hermon descending upon the mountains of Zion like brethren that dwell together in unity? Mount Hermon, about 35 miles northeast of the Sea of Galilee, rises 9,232 feet above sea level! The copious amount of dew and rain upon that mountain feeds the spring of the Karst Cave, which spring then gives a yearly output of over 240 million cubic meters of water! This is the source of the Jordan River – the main water supply for most of Israel! The ‘dew of Hermon’ didn’t exactly decend…upon the mountains of Zion (Jerusalem – 120 miles to the south), but the benefits surely did – and it helped bring the nation of Israel together into one family!
So, Psalm 133 does promote One Anothering! Let’s continue examining the thirty-two words associated with one another in the New Testament…
• We will depart just a bit from our normal path of the New King James Bible to examine I Thessalonians 5:15 from the Modern King James New Testament: “See that none gives evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue the good, both towards one another and towards all.” The Greek word for good is ἀγαθός (pronounced ag-ath-os’). It means literally “good (in any sense, often as noun)….”
It should be obvious – and it is important – that we do not pursue evil to anyone, but always pursue the good towards one another! Evil comes from the evil one – the devil! (See John 17:15 – New King James and many other versions). Pursuing evil always destroys the harmony and unity of one another! Pursue the good and it builds one another up!
• “…let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works….” (Hebrews 10:24). The Greek word for consider is κατανοέω (pronounced kat-an-o-eh’-o). Strong’s definition is, “to observe fully…”; and it is translated in the KJV as “behold, consider, discover, perceive.” The idea is to examine closely – but not in a meddlesome way – for that is the way of a gossip! And the Bible tells us in Proverbs 20:19 (Contemporary English Version), “Stay away from gossips – they tell everything.”
So why are we supposed to be closely examining one another? “…in order to stir up love and good works….”
✞ Stir up love – In the Great Commandment of Mark 12:29 through 31, Jesus tells us, “…love the LORD your God with all your…heart…soul… mind, and… strength….And…you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Paul further describes this commandment in Romans 13:8 through 10:
Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves
another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall
not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not
steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,”
and if there is any other commandment, all are summed up in this
saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love
does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the
Love is so important for the Christian to manifest towards God and fellow believers that John writes in I John 4:7 and 8: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” No wonder we are to closely examine one another in order to stir up love!
✞ Stir up good works – In James 2:17 we are warned, “…faith by itself, if it does not have [good] works, is dead.” Why are good works so important? They are definitely not to procure salvation! (See Romans 4:5; Ephesians 2:8, 9; II Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5). For salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone! Consider Ephesians 2:8 and 9 (mentioned just above): “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” But we must go on to verse 10: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” After salvation, the Lord intends for every Christian to manifest good works in his or her life! (See Titus 3:8). No wonder we are told to “…consider one another in order to stir up…good works….”
Let’s examine two more words in Hebrews 10:24 – stir up! The King James Version translates stir up as provoke. Other translations use move, encourage, help, motivate, incite. The Greek word is παροξυσμός (pronounced par-ox-oos-mos’). It means “incitement (to good), or dispute (in anger)….” We are not to allow fellow believers to languish with no good works manifested in their Christian lives! It is that important!
More in the next blog on Wednesday…