AWAKE MY SOUL (3): COMMUNITY

July 15, 2012

Psalm 133 is one of 14 “Psalms of Ascent” – Psalms that were sung by travelers as they journeyed to Jerusalem for worship.  This particular Psalm was written by King David possibly at the time of his coronation as king over Israel.  He understood that if the nation was going to be strong, they must be unified.

David says that unity is “good”.  The Hebrew word for “good” means “excellent” or “choice”.

David uses two metaphors to describe unity:

a.  Unity as precious oil (vs. 2).  David describes unity as the oil that was used to anoint the head of the High Priest (here, Aaron) that ministered before God on behalf of the people (Exodus 30:22-33).  It was symbolic of God’s power, protection, and provision.  When people are unified – things flow.

b.  Unity as the dew of Mt. Hermon.  Hermon is the highest mountain in the Holy Land (9,232).  Because of its height it actually creates the dew patterns for the dry and arid land below.  The dew hydrates, cools, satisfies, and sustains life – so does unity.

David promises that where there is unity, you will find the blessing of God (vs. 3).

The New Testament warns against those people who would cause disunity (Romans 16:17, Ephesians 4:3 to name a couple).

The church is a community that depends on unity.  We are communal beings.  God created us that way.  It’s in our DNA.  To rebel against community is to rebel against the way God made you.

As a church we have the …

1)  Community-at-large (Acts 2:42-47).  When a church gathers for worship, fellowship, ministry, etc., that is the church-at-large and it demands unity.  Ken Boa said, “We cannot become our authentic selves without being embedded in community”.  You will NEVER be all God planned for you to be outside the fellowship of a local church.  Period.

2)  Community subdivided (Acts 2:46).  The New Testament church not only met regularly in the large community but they also subdivided into smaller, more manageable groups (small groups).  Every Jesus-follower should be part of a small band of brothers and sisters.

Why?

a.  For personal affirmation and encouragement.

b.  For help in applying God’s word to your life.

c.  For confession of sin (James 5:16).

d.  For accountability.

e.  For decision-making and discerning God’s guidance for your life.

You need a small band of brothers and sisters that meet regularly for dialogue, discussion, discipleship and … and dinner!

Again, you will NEVER be all God planned for you to be outside the fellowship of a small band of brothers and sisters who love you, pray for you, and encourage you.  Period.

Authentic community will awaken a dead soul.


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