UNITY OF THE BRETHREN
BEHOLD, HOW GOOD AND HOW PLEASANT IT IS FOR BRETHREN TO DWELL TOGETHER IN UNITY! IT IS LIKE THE PRECIOUS OINTMENT UPON THE HEAD, THAT RAN DOWN UPON THE BEARD, EVEN AARON'S BEARD: THAT WENT DOWN TO THE SKIRTS OF HIS GARMENTS; AS 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.
Whenever I read this Psalm I can picture and almost feel the joyous gladness that must have come over Aaron's face as that oil of anointing was poured over his head and dripped off of his beard. I am not sure exactly how much understanding that Aaron had of the full import of that anointing which set him apart as the great high priest of the nation of Israel. I am not sure that he comprehended what a glorious station he was being ordained unto, or had he known all of the things he would be called upon to perform as that high priest would he gladly have taken that office.
Yet I am absolutely sure that the ONE who was anointed the GREAT HIGH PRIEST over the house of GOD was indeed quite mindful and desirous of this office since HE is the ONE who ordained HIMSELF in this position before the foundation of the world. (see Rev.13:8) Isaiah speaks of HIS view and satisfaction at the fulfillment of the purpose for which HE came into the earth. "He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities." (Isa 53:11)
The passage of time is of no consequence to HIM who is eternal. HE declares the end from the beginning and sees all things as though they are already done. Does not the Psalmist allude to this very fact when he says, "we spend our years as a tale that is told." (Psa 90:9) It is also confirmed by Peter who said "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." (2Pet 3:8)
HE is the "high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy." (Isa 57:15) HE is "before all things, and by him all things consist." (Col 1:17) How foolish is it for men to think that GOD must twiddle HIS thumbs and wait to see what men will do. HE knows what is in the heart of man because HE made man and directeth his steps. (see Prov.16:1,9; 19:21; Jer. 10:23) All things in the earth shall praise HIM because HE is the ONE who has determined to get glory in the creation of a world to manifest the wonder of HIS grace in the redemption of sinners. For this purpose did JESUS CHRIST the RIGHTEOUS come into the world and has indeed accomplished in time, (i.e, that place where men dwell,) the complete and utter deliverance of HIS elect from all condemnation. The very fact that it pleased HIM to come down to where we are and to make HIMSELF of no reputation, taking upon HIMSELF the likeness of sinful flesh, is a most mysterious and yet glorious occurrence.
GOD does nothing out of need because HE needs nothing, being perfect and complete in all of HIS resplendent and eternal glory. HE does "according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?" (Dan 4:35) HIS predetermined purpose to save those which were chosen in CHRIST before the foundation of the world is manifest as JESUS CHRIST was born of a virgin who came to fulfill the prophecy told to Joseph, "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." (Mat 1:21)
Thus HIS joy was fulfilled when HE was anointed as our GREAT HIGH PRIEST before the first molecule of creation (as we see it) was made. HE was as a "bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race." (Psa 19:5) The joy was set before HIM to deliver HIS elect which HE is not ashamed to call brethren, "For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren." (Heb 2:11) Those for whom HE came into this world to redeem were HIS brethren both before and after HE accomplished their redemption in time. In fact it is because they belonged to HIM that HE redeemed them.
In this is demonstrated the "unity" of the brethren wherein HE has laid down HIS life for HIS brethren and left us an example to follow in HIS steps. (see I Pet.2:21) This is the very heart of what HE told HIS disciples saying, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." (John 13:34-
What greater joy can be had by those who are the sons of GOD than to dwell together in unity with their brethren. We read in John's epistle, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." (1Jo 3:14-
This is in the prayer of our LORD as HE agonized in the Garden of Gethsemane, "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world." (John 17:21-
But Christ, by his own powerful blood, Ascends above the skies,
And, in the presence of our God, Shows his own sacrifice.
Jesus, the King of Glory, reigns On Zion's heavenly hill;
Looks like a lamb that has been slain, And wears his priesthood still.
#121 Gadsby's Hymns, by Isaac Watts