on Psalms 133 :1
Behold, how good and how pleasant - Unity is, according to this scripture, a good thing and a pleasant; and especially among brethren - members of the same family, of the same Christian community, and of the same nation. And why not among the great family of mankind? On the other hand, disunion is bad and hateful. The former is from heaven; the latter, from hell.
on Psalms 133 :1
Behold - As if he looked upon such a gathering, and saw there the expressions of mutual love. This may have been uttered in the actual contemplation of such an assemblage; or it may have been a picture of the imagination.
How good - How good in itself; how proper; how suited to promote happiness, and to diffuse good influences abroad.
And how pleasant - The word used here means lovely, charming, attractive; that which fills the mind with delight, spoken of one beloved, Sol 7:6; of a friend, 2 Samuel 1:26; of a place, Genesis 49:15; of words, Proverbs 15:26; of beauty or glory, as of Yahweh, Psalm 27:4. It is descriptive of the pleasure which we derive from a picture, from a landscape, from sweet sounds and gentle voices, or from love.
For brethren to dwell together in unity - Margin, even together. Hebrew, "The dwelling of brethren also together." Perhaps the idea in the word "also" may be, that while the unity of brethren when separate, or as they were seen when scattered in their habitations, was beautiful, it was also pleasant to see them when actually assembled, or when they actually came together to worship God. As applicable to the church, it may be remarked
(1) that all the people of God - all the followers of the Redeemer - are brethren, members of the same family, fellow-heirs of the same inheritance, Matthew 23:8.
(2) There is a special fitness that they should be united, or dwell in unity.
(3) There is much that is beautiful and lovely in their unity and harmony. They are redeemed by the same Saviour; they serve the same Master; they cherish the same hope; they are looking forward to the same heaven; they are subject to the same trials, temptations, and sorrows; they have the same precious consolations. There is, therefore, the beauty, the "goodness," the "pleasantness" of obvious fitness and propriety in their dwelling together in unity.
(4) Their unity is adapted to produce an important influence on the world, John 17:21. No small part of the obstructions to the progress of religion in the world has been caused by the strifes and contentions of the professed friends of God. A new impulse would be given at once to the cause of religion if all the followers of the Lord Jesus acted in harmony: if every Christian would properly recognize every other Christian as his brother; if every true church would recognize every other church as a church; if all ministers of the Gospel would recognize all other ministers as such; and if all who are Christians, and who walk worthy of the Christian name, were admitted freely to partake with all others in the solemn ordinance which commemorates the Saviour's dying love. Until this is done, all that is said about Christian union in the church is a subject of just derision to the world - for how can there be union when one class of ministers refuse to recognize the Christian standing, and the validity of the acts, of other ministers of the Lord Jesus - when one part of the Christian church solemnly refuses to admit another portion to the privileges of the Lord's table - when by their actions large portions of the professed followers of the Redeemer regard and treat others as having no claims to a recognition as belonging to the church of God, and as left for salvation to his "uncovenanted mercies."
on Psalms 133 :1