Today’s Scrip-Bit   13 September 2021 Ecclesiastes 4:9.

Ecclesiastes 4:9.     Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. 

Come down Monday, come on down! Let us walk in unity along life’s convoluted and ofttimes difficult pathway. For only together can we be victorious. Alone we will most surely be defeated. That’s why the wise author of Ecclesiastes, who simply refers to himself as the Preacher, but whom most scholars believe is Cousin Sol, tells us about two being better than one, and three, an even stronger cord. 

Listen to these words of everlasting wisdom. ‘Then I returned, and I saw vanity (futility) under the sun. There is one alone, and there is not a second (a companion); yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he. For whom do I labour, and bereave (deprive) my soul of good? This is also vanity (futility), yea, it is a sore travail (grievous toil).’ (Eccl. 4:7-8) And is that ever the gospel truth! It is a useless, futile task when you are labouring by yourself for only yourself! 

However, the Preacher wisely continues: ‘Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow (companion): but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.’ (Eccl. 4:9-10) Now that’s not rocket science friends, but mere common sense; two people working and walking in harmony and unity are always better than one, because each can help the other when they fall, either literally or figuratively. 

But when you’re on your lonesome, it’s often impossible to get up if you fall. Just goes to show that we all need help to live this simple, yet complicated life. As the wisdom of the world says; no man is an island, he can’t do it all himself. But the preacher is not done yet. (smile) He maintains his claim of togetherness being oh so important: ‘Again if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?’ (Eccl. 4:11) Now that’s a very good question. And if anyone can answer it, please let me know. (smile) 

Meanwhile, the Preacher is just warming up to his argument: ‘And if one prevail against him (though one may be overpowered by another), two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.’ (Eccl. 4:12). Mama Mia! What incredible words of wisdom! So life is not completely useless, futile or meaningless after all! That is, if you are in worthwhile company. 

As the scholars explain: ‘4:7-12. The toil of the miser is futile, especially when he toils only for himself. On the other hand, two are better than one because they have a good return (vs. 9); they can help each other (vs. 10); they can provide mutual warmth (vs. 11); and they double their strength (or triple it, as in the case of three friends (vs. 12).’ 

Now, here are some interesting insights on the subject from commentator Tamara Chamberlain, found on the crosswalk.com website. She says: ‘One of the unique things about Ecclesiastes is that its wisdom is beneficial regardless of your belief in God. The wisdom shown in these four verses can be agreed with, even if you don’t consider yourself a follower of Jesus. There are many other non-Christian proverbs that support the wisdom stated in these verses. Proverbs like, “two heads are better than one” or “no man is an island.” 

The writer of Ecclesiastes penned these truths thousands of years before the similar proverbs we commonly know today. It truly is amazing to see the way the truths revealed in Scripture are not only true because we find them in the Bible, but because the truth is the truth… The principle of two being better than one can be applied to any partnership or aspect of life. To be alone isn’t necessarily seen as negative, but when you add another person to your life the situation is usually better. One of the keywords in these verses is “better.” The writer is stating that a better way, a more fruitful way to live life is alongside other people… 

The statement of two being better than one is true in many different life circumstances all across time… From the very beginning, God created us to be in relationship with others. Not only are we to live in relationship with other people but with God as well. The image is explained in Ecclesiastes 4:12) “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” The three-strand cord is understood to be unity between yourself, God, and another person.’ 

Yes friends, it’s all about unity…with God and with each other! And that’s what our world, our church and our lives are sadly lacking in these turbulent and ever so dangerous times. And the only way to fix it is by sincerely attempting to grow that unity between you, me, and God again. And we can begin to close that needless and foolish rift, right now, by coming together and raising up our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to Almighty God, and acknowledging His sovereignty over the universe. 

So as one sincere voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

And as always, the answers to our prayers will be determined by the way we keep the promises we make to Almighty God! Much LOVE!

…it’s only in good relationship with God and man…can our earthly purpose be truly fulfilled…                                                                                                            

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