Hymn 332:1-2, “Lord, How Good”
My thoughts have centered on being as one, on unity. Psalm 133, “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.” It is good and pleasant to gather as one. It is something to behold. God is beholding today, looking down and seeing into the depths of our heart. It’s like precious oil. We are given the recipe for the ointment in Exodus 30:23-25. “Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels, and of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: and thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil.” The precious oil was made from four spices which were taken from the original source, from the field, and processed and broken down and made smaller so as to lose their identity. Olive oil was then added to make it smooth, blended together so you couldn’t tell one spice from another. What helps us to blend together today is the Spirit of God, so we won’t chafe one against another. When we are willing to lose our identity, we will all be the same because of the Spirit. It is the blending, bowing and dying to self that makes for unity. In John 17, these “are in the world, but not of the world.” 2 Corinthians 6:17, “’…come out from among them, and be ye separate,’ saith the Lord…” It is necessary to make a clean separation, a clean cut so we can blend. The earthworm crawls in and through the earth but nothing of the earth clings to the worm. We are in the world, but the world is not on or in us and therefore there can be unity, a oneness and strength in the kingdom. There is strength in unity and oneness because of God’s spirit. United we stand, divided we fall.
The anointing starts at the head. This is like having oneness of mind, having the mind of Christ. We need the mind of Christ to think the way Jesus thought. We don’t want to have a double mind and purpose, but one heart to do His will. The precious ointment went down upon the beard, down to the skirts of the garments. It would affect the heart, making it soft. We read of the fifty thousand who kept rank in 1 Chronicles 12:33, “Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: they were not of double heart.” The spirit of God was directing; they were of single purpose, one purpose and of one heart. They were united in one desire to do God’s will. The oil went down to the feet. The holy anointing oil, the Spirit affects our walk. 1 John 2:6, “He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk even as He walked.” Jesus walked humbly, lowly, and meekly. The oil was likened to dew descending upon the mountains. Dew falls when there is calmness and quietness; it does not descend when a wind is blowing. Dew encourages growth. When we are settled, God’s spirit descends, encouraging unity in our hearts. We need to feed on the Lamb, on things that will strengthen us.
2 Kings 2, Elisha wanted to be beside Elijah. There was a bond of unity between Elijah and Elisha because of the Spirit. Elijah had a spirit that Elisha craved. The spirit of Elijah rested on Elisha — he had that same spirit on him. Be willing to be made small, to be crushed. We can’t do it on our own, but as we are willing to be made small, God will give us the strength to be humble, and unity will prosper.
Before testimonies, we will stand and sing the third verse of 332, “Lord, How Good.”