Hebrew Highlights 140 - Unity
Shalom, this is Yuval Shomron coming to you from Jerusalem.
PSA 133:1-3 “(A Song of Ascents, of David.) Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, Coming down upon the beard, Even Aaron's beard, Coming down upon the edge of his robes. It is like the dew of Hermon, Coming down upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing-- life forever.”
I recently heard a certain defeated presidential candidate vow to continue to strive for the unity of America. If I remember my history right, The United States started out as “one nation, under God.” So, if it has become divided, who is responsible for that division, and why?
In Psalm 133, when it says “for brothers to dwell together in unity”, the Hebrew original says “shevet achim b’yachad”. Literally, it means “brothers sitting together.”
Perhaps not so oddly, the first thing I am reminded of when I read this passage is a license plate we had on our family car when I was a child. It said “the family that prays together, stays together.
Obviously, the word “brothers” implies one common father. It is in this place where brothers sit together under one common father that the Lord commanded the blessing of eternal life.
Bear with me while I try to show you why there simply cannot be unity between people who serve different fathers. Let’s start by looking at part of a famous prayer from Yeshua’s heart to His Father.
JOH 17:9-23 "I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine; and all things that are Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. "And I am no more in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep them in Thy name, the name which Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, even as We are. "While I was with them, I was keeping them in Thy name which Thou hast given Me; and I guarded them, and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. "But now I come to Thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy made full in themselves. "I have given them Thy word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. "I do not ask Thee to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. "Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth. "As Thou didst send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. "And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. "I do not ask in behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me. "And the glory which Thou hast given Me I have given to them; that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that Thou didst send Me, and didst love them, even as Thou didst love Me.”
So, as we see plainly here, Yeshua prayed diligently for the unity of His disciples. However, He spoke of their unity one with another, while at the same time speaking of their separation from the world.
Now, some would say, “but Jesus was such a nice guy. Surely He would want America to be united, not divided.”
Let’s see what He said in LUK 12:49-53, "I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! "But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! "Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two, and two against three. "They will be divided, father against son, and son against father; mother against daughter, and daughter against mother; mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law."
Having read this, I still don’t believe Yeshua actually sends us out to preach division. He sends us out to preach His Word, which cuts a certain dividing gash of its own, as we see in HEB 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
If we are left to our on philosophy, we will assume, like that certain disappointed candidate I mentioned earlier, that the way to true unity is compromise. Without being too funny, I’d like you to know that in Hebrew, “p’shara,” or compromise, is a 4-letter word. It is never used in the Bible, neither in the Old Testament, nor the New.
As children of our Heavenly Father who are seeking His eternal blessing, we simply cannot make peace with the world. JOH 14:15-18 says, "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you. "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
Here are a few more examples to show my point: JAM 4:4, “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
ROM 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
REV 3:15-16, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot. 'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.”
If we try to create a counterfeit unity by compromising right and wrong, we will get into big trouble with God.
Now of course we do know that God does support peace, as we see in ROM 12:18, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” However, this statement is clarified in HEB 12:14, “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.” There can be no peace with either God or man without repentance.
In Summary, my point is this. America can only find unity by finding the Lord. When everyone gets saved, there will be unity. God wants to bring unity to the United States, as well as the rest of the world. However, He wants His Word to be the common ground, His laws to be the common guide, and He Himself to be the common Father.
1JO 3:1 reads, “See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.”
Unfortunately, a major European newspaper commenting on the recent American presidential election sported a headline, which said, “How can 59,117,523 Americans be so dumb?”
It should have said, “How can the other 55,557,584 Americans be so dumb?” How can they continue to reject the free gift of God’s Son, and the eternal blessing He brings? How can they not see that, “It’s the morals stupid”. The majority of the people are tired of comprising God’s commands, and giving in to the wounding and murderous plans of the devil.
Miraculously, 59,117,523 individual Americans, and 31 out of the 50 American states are united in a bigger way than ever before. Just as we pray for this nation of Israel, which was also founded on Biblical principals, we pray that all America would be saved.
Then truly how good and how pleasant it will be for brothers to dwell together in unity. There the Lord will command the blessing-- life forever.
Shalom Shalom from Jerusalem