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September 10, 2017

"A SIGHT TO BEHOLD"

TEXT: Psalm 133: 1-3
READING:  Psalm 27: 1-14

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SUBJ: The value placed on Christian fellowship and their identity together as the redeemed of the Lord noting the manner in which our attention is called to it.

AIM: That we might continue therein and that we might endeavor to cultivate the fact and expression as we contemplate Christ as the basis for love and unity.

INTR: A matter of great concern with the Lord was the relationship His followers would have after His departure and he abundantly directed that it be secured in Him.
1. We are certainly familiar with the tone that was set in His parting discourses with them as He commanded that “Ye love one another as I have loved you.”
2. As His manner often was, He countered the tendency to act in a way that might engender conflict. Particular exhortations were to become as little children and that they recognize that greatness is attained through becoming the servant of all.
3. The Spirit of Christ is evident in this Psalm of degrees wherein David treats of this as a profound topic uses such intensifiers as “behold” and “how.”

THESIS: The divine assessment of the blessedness of such unity is founded on the fact that it is not the normal nature of men to be so given to each other and it is therefore a reflection of the marvelous work of grace wrought in us by the Spirit of Christ.

I. BEHOLD! (V. 1)
1. Wherever the Word of God applies this attention-getter we do well to give attendance.
1) The word assigns importance to the object and the mind of the writer – David, but under divine inspiration.
2) The word likewise causes the object to stand out as indicative of some important truth and is more than a mere wonder.
2. It is a matter addressed in the New Testament order as Paul called it out in Corinth. See, 10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 1 Corinthians 1:10-11.
3. As previously mentioned our Lord anticipated the tendency and so would exhort them to practice the agape love that He exhibited.
1) John did not let this go. Rather, we read, We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 1 John 3:14.
2) He pressed the issue in saying, And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. 1 John 4:21.
4. To whom then is it good and pleasant?
1) It is first good and pleasing to God in that this is what Christ died and rose again to obtain and that it reflects the sweet-savor of His Son in us.
2) It is good and pleasant for us for the same reason; it confirms the success and application of the redemptive work in us and the experience is one of true joy.
5. The prophet wrote of unity in these words: Can two walk together, except they be agreed? Amos 3:3.
1) Not only do we see such agreement between us and God,
2) But also, we experience agreement with each other about God and about His Son and this so great salvation. Our unity is found in the mutual love of Christ our Lord. BEHOLD!

II. PRECIOUS OINTMENT (v. 2)
1. Anointing was common in the Old Testament, but that of the High Priest was of great significance. See, Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, Exodus 25:6
1) Of note is the spices that would have made this oil to be aromatic and
2) Spurgeon noted that it would have diffusive power and so brotherly love spreads to all under its influence with positive spiritual effect.
3) It perfumes the work of the Lord’s people as they go about serving Him!
4) The typical application would be of the evidence of the empowering of the Holy Spirit.
5) The fact that it ran down onto Aaron’s beard and his garments spoke of the abundance provided in the person and work of the Spirit.
6) It is evident that apart from the “Earnest of our Inheritance” there will be no true unity.
2. The comparison here is to that which the Lord approves and enables and connects with the Gospel types associated with the priesthood
3. It would be further indicative of the anticipation of the Heavenly unity we all anticipate and talk about: Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. Malachi 3:16.

III. The Place of Blessing (v. 3)
1. It seems that the dews that descended from Mt. Hermon and other high mountains fell with great effect on the City of David.
2. Zion is pictured as the place of God’s dwelling with His people and so it to there they are drawn and great joy and worship are attached thereto.
3. Strife and contentions are of human origin while unity is the result of a work from above.
1) There is no such thing as contention where the Lord is in view
2) Consider: Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17.
3) The good and pleasant experience of dwelling together in unity is from above.