Daily Devotional

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. For if one falls down, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to help him up! Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone? And though one may be overpowered, two can resist. Moreover, a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

I’ll never forget the day I almost fell off a wall like Humpty Dumpty. I must have been around 8 years old, and I was outside playing with my friend Stephen. For some reason we thought it would be fun to sit on top of a block fence and shoot the breeze. But as we talked and laughed, I lost my balance and literally fell over backwards. It was one of those slow-motion moments where my adolescent life passed before my eyes. But amazingly my friend Stephen grabbed hold of my feet and pinned me to the wall.  I was hanging upside down, which was a bit of a dilemma.  But at least I didn’t break my neck.

In these well-known verses from Ecclesiastes, Solomon ponders the proverbial question of what would have happened to me if I had been alone on that fence. The answer: I probably wouldn’t be here writing this devotional.

In verse 9, he declares the principle that “two are better than one.” Then he gives three examples to support his claim.

1. If a person falls down, he has someone to help him up.
2. If a person lies down, he has someone to keep him warm.
3. If a person is attacked, he has someone to protect him.

Today I’m struck with the simple truth that we need friends in our lives. As Solomon says: “Two are better than one.”  

For many that special person may be a spouse. But the principle is stated here in general terms, not marital terms. (It uses business terms to be exact.)

So I believe these verses are about relationships in general. They’re exhorting us to make sure we have special people in our lives who love us and care about us, rather than trying to go it alone. There are too many loners in the world, and the church is no exception.

Here are three helpful questions to ask yourself today:
•When I fall down (sin, fail, make a mistake), who is there to help me up?
•When I feel cold (lonely, numb, discouraged), who is there to warm and cheer me up?
•When I’m under attack, who do I know that will fight for me and guard my back?

I hope and pray some names came to your mind. (Maybe you need to call them today to let them know how much they mean to you.)  

But no matter what, remember there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).  “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” The third strand – Jesus – is always there for you. And he will give strength to all your relationships.
The Berean Study Bible (BSB) © 2016, 2020.
Used by Permission. All rights Reserved.
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