Psalm 133: How Good and Beautiful

Psalm 133 is the quintessential ode to the unity of God’s people. It is short, beginning with a thesis statement (“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”) and fleshed out with two supporting images. Both images, anointing oil and mountain dew, are signs of God’s blessing.

I have set Psalm 133 to music three times in the past, each time with a co-writer. This time I decided to move away from the sweet renditions one normally hears. The fact is that when it comes to the communion of the saints the devil is in the details! Things are not always sweet between God’s people. It takes a lot of work–even fighting–to achieve the kind of unity that Psalm 133 describes. I decided music that was rougher and more muscular would be appropriate for the song’s message.

How good and beautiful
when all God’s family lives
in precious unity.
How good it is.

1. It’s like oil flowing down,
it’s like oil flowing down. CHORUS

2. It revives like morning dew,
it revives like morning dew. CHORUS

3. It’s God’s blessing flowing down,
it’s God’s blessing flowing down. CHORUS

Oh, how good it is.
Oh, how good it is.

Recording note: The inspiration for my arrangement on this recording was the Malian guitarist Ali Farka Touré. Of course, I don’t come anywhere near his prowess. Do yourself a favor and take a listen to the real thing:

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