1Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
2It 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;
3As 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.
(Psalm 133, King James Version)
What a beautiful and yet, very sad, Psalm! Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! But, where is the unity among the people of God? In place of unity, in this world we see a fractured church, splintered into thousands and thousands of groups.
Why has God allowed such a thing to come upon His church? Due to the sin of man, what we see today is a natural result of sin in the hearts of God's people. In their zealous attempt to be faithful to God's Word (which is good), they have argued and argued against the finest points of doctrines until it seems that no two groups can agree.
Of course, that is not the only reason for the thousands of groups we see today. It seems that there is a cyclical history of churches faithful to the Lord. A baby church is ever so faithful, seeking to stay pure and righteous before the Lord, but, just as we saw the nation of Israel wander away, so as the church grows it seems as though it often looses that edge of faithfulness. It tends to slip farther and farther away from God's Word until, of necessity, those who desire to remain faithful must break away and begin a new church.
Seeing this pattern in the history of the church, we marvel at Psalm 133. Yes, when brothers and sisters in Christ live in unity, it is like the precious ointment upon the head, that runs down upon the beard. How we long for the day when this Psalm will be perfectly fulfilled. For, when all of God's children are ushered Home to live with Him forever, we will live together in unity. Gone will be the strife and divisions which parted us here on earth. What a glorious day that will be!
What, then, are we to do? If God has blessed you with a church that remains faithful to God's Word, then do whatever is in your power to help and strengthen that group. Pray for your pastor and your leaders, and by God's grace be a positive influence in helping and maintaining unity of faith. Resist the urge to cause division through gossiping, and do not be a part of those who would tear you church apart through their clamoring, especially against those in authority.
Man's pride is his greatest enemy. It is through pride that Satan convinced Eve to eat of the fruit, and often it is through stubborn pride that people refuse to submit to the authorities God has placed over them.
If God has placed you in a church struggling to survive divisions among its people, may God grant you wisdom from His Word to stay true to God. If your church divides, be sure you are with the group who chooses to remain faithful to God.
Above all, let us pray that God would unite His people, for the lack of unity among believers has been a crippling force in terms of standing up before wicked rulers who would rid the world of God's rule over them. Let us not be discouraged, for God is over all, and what He has ordained will come to pass. There is an end in sight, and we know that that battle has already been won!
What a great and wondrous God we serve!
God Bless You,