Pastor Randy’s Top 66 – Ecclesiastes
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them 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. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Ecclesiastes is a one of the Wisdom Books, along with Job, Psalms, Proverbs, and Song of Songs, and has been misunderstood for centuries. Some have been concerned because it seems to be so negative, and carnal, and not a lot of talk about a strong relationship with the Lord, but often the people who say those sort of things haven’t really spent the time, or maybe haven’t asked the Lord to help them see the truth and beauty found in this Book. This is why we at Grace Christian went through this Book verse-by-verse!
These particular verses from the fourth chapter are often used to show the importance of marriage, and why ‘a man should not be alone’, but if that’s the case, then a lot of people on this planet – especially a lot of Christians – who are single, widowed, or divorced must be missing out on the Lord’s best – and I don’t believe that. Remember, Paul and Jesus never married!
What these few verses ARE speaking about is the importance of fellowship with other brothers and sisters. When the Lord said to Adam, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make a helpmate for him”, he was certainly talking about a wife, but I believe that even deeper than that was the human need to be with others, help others, and allow others to help us.
We in America love our ‘independent spirit’, and there is some truth about that yearning. It’s also good that we teach our children to be independent of us as parents so that they can develop their own personality and move on with their life, but spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally I do believe there is a basic human need for us to interact, love, play, work, and worship with other people – the Lord made us to be social creatures.
As a matter of fact, here are some biblical statistics for you about all of the “one another” verses in the New Testament:
- “One another” is used 100 times in 94 verses.
- 47 of those verses give instructions to followers of Jesus
- Paul wrote 60% of those “one another” commands
- One third of the “one another” commands deal with the church getting along with “one another”
- One third of these commands instruct Christians to love one another through actions, service, devotion, or just flat out loving
- About 15% stress an attitude of humility and respect among believers
- And the rest cover all sorts of issues, such as: Bear one another’s burdens; comfort one another; encourage one another; pray for one another; teach one another, etc.
As you can see, we really do need one another. And although it doesn’t HAVE to mean this, I like to believe that when verse twelve says “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken”, not only does this speak of the power of plurality, but also that when Jesus is in the midst of two or more, then there’s an even greater opportunity to love, serve, worship, etc.