Two are Better than One

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, ‘Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.’

 

Observations: Solomon observes a man who has no family or friends and he concludes that his work is not only meaningless, but also miserable (v8). One of the problems is that there is no one to help him. If he falls there is no one to help him up, or if he gets cold, there is no one to keep him warm, or if he is attacked there is no one to help him defend himself. And so Solomon concludes that ‘two are better then one.’ And while Solomon is particularly thinking of work, this also applies for life in general. The Bible says that we were made for companionship. In the creation account God says, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. (Gen 2:18)’ And this is where we get the idea of marriage, where a man and woman commit to serve and love each other for life. In a sense ‘friendship’ mirrors marriage, and marriage mirrors the relationship within the Trinity. Solomon says that when we are on our own we are like a piece of string that is easily broken, but when we are supported by someone else, whether that’s another person or God himself, we are like ‘a cord three strands’ that ‘is not quickly broken.’

 

Application: The obvious application is: Don’t do life on your own! Firstly, you need to do life with God. Without God your life will amount to nothing, it will serve no lasting purpose, it will be meaningless – that’s the whole point of Ecclesiastes. Secondly, find someone to do life with. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to get married, you could find a mentor, or someone who will hold you accountable. You need someone who will support you in your work, who will help you up when you fall, who will keep your faith hot, and protect you from sin, or even from other people. Love cannot be experienced in a vacuum, it requires community.

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I want to thank You that I am not alone. Lord, I not only have You as my heavenly Father, I have Jesus my Saviour interceding for me, and I have the Holy Spirit living in me. Lord, in those times when I feel alone, may I never forget that You are with me and that You will hold me in Your hands and life me up. And Lord I thank You for me wife, who is my best friend, who supports me in my work, who helps me, who encourages my faith and holds me accountable in my battle with sin. Lord, she is a gift from You. And Lord, thank You for my wider family and friends, the so many people in my life who encourage me to serve You. Lord, You are indeed good and gracious. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

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