Two Are Better Than One


Two Are Better Than One
(I Need You to Survive)

by Rev. Timothy L. Jainniney of New Hope Sanctuary in Roanoke, VA

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

The writer of Ecclesiates is commonly believed to be the wise king Solomon, the son of King David. He is referred to as, “Teacher” in 1:1 and throughout the book. Some translations call him, “Preacher.” Really, in many ways, no difference as they both proclaim a message.
Our text deals with loneliness as well as some other things. Notice verses 1-4… Notice verses 7 and 8 as well.

The internet is full of facts (from Psychology Today and many other resources) on loneliness and how it can impact physical and mental health: Alcoholism, drug use, impact on hormone levels which affect the body in many ways, increased risk of suicide. High blood pressure, stress, phobias, heart disease, over eating, etc.

Look at the kinds of things they had to deal with. In chapter 4, the Teacher speaks about the oppression that he and others had to suffer at the hands of others. He speaks about the competitive world in which he lived, a world that was also full of envy and jealousy. In the midst of such a world the people laboured all their lives, but in the end they found themselves lonely and depressed.
Have you been there?

That’s the kind of world we live in today. The emphasis is on making sure that you get out of life what you want for yourself. You are “Number one”.

Relationships are discarded at will. As soon as one relationship doesn’t work for us anymore, we go on to the next. In the end, we end up miserable and alone. This speaks of relationships of all types.

We will see some very important lessons in our text:

Verse 9 says that “two are better than one.” And there are various reasons for this.

1. Two are better than one because there are results. Verse 9.

There is a good return for their work. Rewarding, fruit . Not just reward for selfish gain but results that help others!

What kind of work do we do together? For others, not just for self (which in itself is not always a bad thing). What are we doing to benefit others?

There are multiplied results! Fruit of labor and doing good.

Ever try to do a job/task alone? Some results of that?

2. Two are better than one because there is rescue. Verse 10.

Many have fallen all around us! Many in our own family have fallen. We too fall!

Fallen – due to physical weakness. Fallen mentally/emotionally. Many fall as a result of their own devices/mistakes.

When we fall, don't we desire help in getting up? So should we see others as needing help, rescucing.

I think of the story of the Good Samaritan.

Jesus said concrning the woman who had fallen, "Let him who has not sinned (fallen) cast the first stone…"

The church should be a place for those rescued. It should be an inn for those in need of rest, a hospital for the sick, a place of refuge!

Let's be that type of intentional spiritual community (as says our mission statement).

3. Two are better than one because there is comfort and companionship. Verse 11.

When reading this verse, it does not speak only of a physical, romantic relationship, though that is certainly to be included.

It could speak of necessity. I think of stories I have read where lost travelers are out in the elements and the only way to survive is to keep warm by sharing a sleeping bag or such. It is a must for survival.

This could speak of provision in many forms.

"Warmth" could speak of comfort, a place of rest, hospitality, warm regard for another, warm/kind words.

This could speak of friendship, companionship, etc, even if just for a brief time.

What things can you come up with?

4. Two are better than one because there is safety. Verse 12.

Many are under attack. Many of us have been under attack. So many around us are not safe.

Not that we want to fight, but sometimes we must! Not for ourselves, but in order to protect others. It is not wrong to defend ourselves or others. It is far easier to do so with the help of others.

To be overpowerd is not a good position to be in.

We need to come to the aid of others in so many ways. Even if/when we don't agree "with our own," we still fight for them, fight to protect them. Have you ever seen a family who constantly fights/bickers? But when someone comes against one of their own, watch out! It has been said, "blood is thicker than water."

Some can't fend for themselves and need another to step up!

We should come to the aid of others and help defend. We need to defend, fight for and protect our own.

5. Two are better than one because there is strength. Verse 12.

Example of a strand of string or rope. Wrapping another strand, it is thicker, stronger. Adding another strand it becomes even thicker and stronger. The more we add, the stronger it is!

There really IS strength in numbers!

Rope is a very versatile tool. It can be used for many things. Sometimes it can be used in negative ways (tying hands, etc), but it has many, many positive uses.

What "tools" do we individually have to offer? We all have something! We all have gifts, talents, abilities!

Let's bring what we have and put them to use for the good of those around us. Let's strengthen our church, community, family!

Blessed be the tie that binds!

If we wrap together all that we can individually offer, think of the "tight rope (tool)" we will have!

Uses for rope: ties down, pulls out, pulls up, secures, fastens. Many uses!

If we come together… faithfully, consistently… we cannot easily be broken…


In closing… Singing the song, "I Need You To Survive."

Sing it with purpose, as our prayer. Listen closely to what we sing!

Prepare for communion…

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Categories : Christian Living, unity

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