July 17

Read Psalms 132 -- 138

The psalmist reminds us of how good and how pleasant it is for the brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment (anointing oil) upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments (consecrating the whole body) (Psalms 133:1-2; Exodus 30:25,30; Leviticus 8:12). The holy anointing oil that was poured upon the head of Aaron, the first high priest, is a foreshadowing of the anointing, indwelling, and outflowing of the Holy Spirit upon believers today. The oil poured out symbolized the Holy Spirit who, in love, covers as well as permeates the lives of those who have submitted themselves to Christ, who is the Head of the Church (Ephesians 5:23; 1:22; 4:15; I Corinthians 11:3; Colossians 1:18).

The psalmist also revealed that unity is like the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore (Psalms 133:3). The dew on Mount Hermon is the life-source of Israel, for the snow which melts and flows from its peak is the chief source of water for the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee. Without it, most of Israel would be a desert. Since the dew comes from Heaven, it illustrates that the life-source for true unity is the Holy Spirit and is a gift of God resting upon Christians who have love and concern for each other. The Holy Spirit descends gently, like fresh dew, producing a mutual commitment to work out difficulties that arise in our relationships with one another. Unity takes place as spiritually mature Christians endeavor (make an effort) to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3).

All true Christians have the same indwelling Holy Spirit and are members of the Body of Christ, which is the Church. Therefore, we should seek to express the oneness of the Spirit with other believers without partiality regardless of race, nationality, education, or wealth.

The key to true unity requires that nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves (Philippians 2:3). Our fallen nature is ever prone to distort unwelcome encounters with others and our emotions create a crisis out of unimportant incidents. Added to this, we all too often selfishly demand our rights and blame our frustrations on others. Pride, self-will, and an independent spirit are the great enemies of the Spirit-filled life. It is Christlike to accept personal offense rather than to react to someone's rudeness. We need to recognize that people's bad attitudes are usually momentary frustrations caused by previous conflicts, sorrows, sufferings, or bad news. God permits difficult people to come into our lives giving us an opportunity to express His love and patience toward them, just as our Lord has made known His love and mercy toward us.

Unity results as we communicate the love of Christ by allowing the indwelling Holy Spirit to flow through our lives and lift us above all personal differences. As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:27-28).

Christ Revealed: As the descendant of David who would sit upon the throne (Psalms 132:11; compare Luke 1:32; Acts 2:29-30).

Word Studies: 132:6 Ephratah was the district in which Bethlehem was located; 132:11 fruit means offspring; 132:17 bud means flourish; 135:4 His peculiar treasure means the people of God; 135:14 repent Himself concerning His servants means God will have compassion upon His people; 136:12 a stretched out arm means mighty power; 137:3 wasted means plundered; 137:4 strange means foreign; 137:5 her cunning means skill upon the harp; 137:7 Rase means overthrow, destroy.

Prayer:

BPM Staff: George Kopchak · Pray for Life Action Ministries · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in honor of Angela Hanlon · Country: Qatar (724,000) in southwestern Asia · Major languages: Arabic and English · Muslim conversion to Christ is forbidden, but expatriate Christians are allowed to meet informally · 92% Muslim; 4% Protestant; 2% Roman Catholic; 1% Hindu; .5% Eastern Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Pray with great faith and the Lord will answer (Matthew 21:22).

Optional Reading: II Timothy 2

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:162,167