Two different groups of my friends are engaged in conflict. They both have legitimate complaints against the other. Nobody is innocent and yet nobody is completely to blame. In other words, the complaints against one another are not really the issue. In fact, the complaints could be easily resolved. Instead, however, the two parties have allowed the issue to get personal.

Personality conflicts are difficult to resolve because they require personal repentance and forgiveness. However, when two parties overcome their differences and demonstrate brotherly love, Christ gets the glory and all those surrounding the parties receive a blessing. That’s the message of Psalm 133:

Behold, how good and pleasant it is

    when brothers dwell in unity!

It is like the precious oil on the head,

    running down on the beard,

on the beard of Aaron,

    running down on the collar of his robes!

It is like the dew of Hermon,

    which falls on the mountains of Zion!

For there the Lord has commanded the blessing,

    life forevermore.

In this Psalm, David points out the blessing of brotherly love and unity. He says it is like the anointing oil that Aaron, the High Priest, would have poured on his head. The oil was to set aside Aaron as the consecrated official who would represent the Children of Israel before God. The oil had a wonderful fragrance that would grow as it flowed down Aaron’s head, onto his beard, and finally to his robes.

David’s word picture suggests that when brothers are unified, there is something special that flows from their relationship just as the oil flowed to Aaron’s robe. Others who surround the unified brothers are blessed by the sweet fragrance of their relationship.

Like dew on the mountains of Zion, it creates a pleasing environment of blessing.

It is impossible to read this Psalm without commenting on the profound implication of and allusion to Christ’s love.

Christ, the “anointed one,” is the Great High Priest whose sacrifice sets the standard for love, provides the infinite supply of love for sinners, and makes available the resource of love for His people to “love one another, just as [He has] loved you” (John 13:34).

Here are the takeaways for my friends in conflict:

  • Christ displayed His love for you by dying in your place for your sin (Rom. 5:8).
  • Christ commands you to love one another (John 13:34).
  • Your love for one another, despite differences in personality, will be a blessing to all around you (Psalm 133:2).
  • Your love for one another will require Christ’s strength, not your own.
  • “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen“ (I John 4:20).
  • Your love for one another should be an eternal blessing –both in the present, and future. “For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore” (Psalm 133:3).