United in Diversity

Arno Froese

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1).

The Luther Bible titles this three-verse Psalm, “Blessings of Brotherly Unity.” The exact date of the composition of this Psalm seems to be unknown. However, in the context of the previous and following Psalms, it becomes clear that it was the time when the tribes of Israel favored David, as recorded in 1 Chronicles 12. David became the undisputed favorite to be the “captain” for the children of Israel. 

The twelve tribes were united under David. “How good and how pleasant it is that brothers dwell together,” says the Tanakh. This unity was designated for one people: the children of Israel, whom God led out of bondage from Egypt into the Promised Land.

Let’s go back to the time of Abraham. The Lord had blessed Abram and his nephew Lot. Genesis 13:6 reports: “And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.” How did Abram deal with this conflict? He surely could have requested that his will be done; he was the older one, and he was the one God called. Let’s read verse 8: “And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.”

This unity should also be exemplified within the Church. That’s why Paul admonishes us in 1 Corinthians 1:10: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” That indeed fulfills our introductory verse: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” 

This type of spiritual unity is not brought about through an institution, an organization, or a system; it is a reality of the indwelling Holy Spirit within the Church—which, we emphasize, consists only of born-again believers. This unity is preserved by the Lord Himself. The work He has begun in us, He will also complete and perfect in due time. 

A recent article by the World Jewish Congress states:

As part of its 16th Plenary Assembly, the World Jewish Congress (WJC) partnered with the Muslim World League (MWL) for a joint Muslim and Jewish celebration of Ramadan. The convening, featuring the MWL Secretary General, H.E. Dr. Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, WJC President Ronald S. Lauder and over 100 senior Jewish and Muslim community leaders from around the world, demonstrated a shared dedication to global interfaith collaboration and the cultivation of good relations between Muslim and Jewish faith communities.

Lauder opened by citing Psalm 133: “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony.”

He reflected on the significance of building interfaith relations, stating, “Relationships between communities, especially communities of faith, are sadly not always easy to foster and maintain. In fact, we all know that there has been strife among different faiths throughout history.” 

Echoing Lauder’s emphasis on interfaith dialogue and cooperation, Al-Issa noted that religion should be used as a tool to promote peace and unity rather than division: “We know that religion has always been used as an excuse for conflict, or that religions have been used to serve political purposes. I would like to say that this is against the essence of religion because religion promotes peace. I would like to stress that this friendly meeting is an opportunity to promote our common values, our human values.”

-www.worldjewishcongress.org, 27 April 2021

We are reminded here of the EU motto, “United in Diversity.” That is in the works, and it will come to fruition when religion becomes increasingly political—as politics becomes religion.

Israel’s tendency toward unity with the world is self-evident. First Samuel 8 reports that the elders of Israel came with a request to Samuel: “Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations” (verse 5). After hearing warnings enumerated against having a king like the Gentiles, the elders were determined: “Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles” (verses 19-20). Note the words, “like all the nations.” 

In modern times, when Israel declared its independence, they appealed to the United Nations to assist the Jewish people in building their own state: “to admit Israel into the family of nations.”

As of 2020, Israel has diplomatic relations with 164 nations out of 192 members of the UN. 

Israel is given to the Church as an example. We are a different nation, with no political attachments; we have no country, no capital city, no government, no military force. We reside on all continents and are present in every nation on the face of the earth. We speak hundreds of different languages, practice diverse cultures, yet we are perfectly one in Jesus Christ our Lord. We are the spiritual habitation of God. The apostle Peter writes: “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5). When this spiritual house is completed, the Lord our God will take possession of it and remove us from planet earth.

Israel will experience a national rebirth, and then will be fulfilled what was proclaimed by Zechariah the prophet: “Thus saith the Lord; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the Lord of hosts the holy mountain” (Zechariah 8:3).

Midnight Call - 07/2021

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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