Matters of Faith: Joined at the Hip

By Reverend J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NKJV

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.
11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

There is strength in unity. When you join two things together, they fortify each other so that they become stronger. Two cords are stronger than one. Real life examples can be seen when two friends strengthen one another; in marriages where the two individuals become one and their differences complement each other; in a business where partners share responsibilities so that the business flows smoothly; and in sports teams where you find that their comradery and trust in each other makes the team function efficiently. In every instance, there is unity.

The book of Ecclesiastes demonstrates the author’s observations and conclusions as it relates to questions about the meaning of life. He does not drop scriptures or theological interpretations but rather chooses to look at the perplexities of life through the glass of his own experiences. He never disputes the existence of God, he just wants to validate that the things we see, read and believe in the scriptures are true and accurate from his personal perspective and experience. The name of the book is from a Greek word (ekklesia) and means assembly, or one who addresses an assembly. The Hebrew word is “qoheleth” which means one who convenes an assembly. We translate that to mean either teacher or preacher.

In the text, the preacher is sharing a concept that for us, is a guide to helping each other. When he says, “two are better than one,” he could very easily be calling us to unify. He could be encouraging us to unite our efforts, our thoughts, our feelings, our hopes and our work in purpose and direction. He does say that that kind of unity leads to a “good reward for our labor.” He goes on to share that his experiences discovered that a single person cannot pick him/herself up when they fall, neither can they keep themselves warm when it’s cold, or prevent themselves from being overpowered by others. But with two, they are all possible.

I am going to take the liberty to interpret the preacher’s reference to a threefold cord not being quickly broken as an encouragement to us to make Christ the third cord in all our partnerships. Because He loves us, His desire is to be in relationship with us (John 13:34). With Him as the third cord, He would make our partnership an unbreakable triple-braided cord. With Him as the third cord in the bond, we can say like Paul, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13). In fact, we would be more than a braided cord, we would be joined at the hip.

Be Blessed +++

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial &. Strategic Consulting, and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen by phone” at 626-226-1448. Be sure to Friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook and email us at Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The Book at Book Blues.

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