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Better Together - Forward with Back to the Bible - January 25

  • 2022 Jan 25

Better Together

January 25

Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (ESV)

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Reflect

What do you most appreciate about the partnerships and communities you have in your life?

So many of us try to get through life like lone rangers. But why? Do we want sole claim on all the glory for our achievements in our life? Is it a matter of pride? Is it because we don’t want to show any weakness or admit that we ever need help?

Whatever our reasons are for attempting to fly solo, when we go back to the Bible, we see that God did not intend for us to walk through life all alone. In today’s verses, King Solomon gave us some wisdom—”two are better than one,” he said. He gave us several reasons why. He said they get a better return on their work, they can help each other up if one of them falls, they can keep each other warm on a cold night, and they can protect each other.

The goodness of community was introduced really early in the Bible—“In the beginning” early. After God made Adam, He placed him in the Garden of Eden among the animals. Then in Genesis 2:18, “The LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’” After many “and God saw that it was good” statements, this was the first time God said “it was not good.” It was not God’s purpose for Adam to be a lone ranger.

Adam was then tasked with naming all of the animals. But in Genesis 2:20 we read, “But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.”

It’s interesting that God used the word “helper” or (ezer in Hebrew) to describe the woman that He made from Adam’s rib. The ESV study Bible notes that the word ezer does not indicate that the woman was the man’s subordinate or assistant. Instead, the word means “one who supplies strength in the area that is lacking.” Eve was not weaker or stronger than Adam. She was his helper because her strengths were in the areas that he was weak. His strengths were in the areas that she was weak. They were a good fit. They were better together.

We see so many examples of this in the body of Christ. On any given Sunday, we see people complementing each other as they serve the Lord. The preaching pastor may be excellent at teaching the Word from the pulpit but relies on the help of many others to meet the needs of the congregation. He can’t do it all. From elders, to administrators, to worship leaders, to childcare providers, to hospitality volunteers, to women’s ministry, Sunday school teachers, etc. These people are not less important than the head pastor. They are helpers, yes. But not as mere aides. Their help gives strength to and fills in what is lacking in the rest of the church body. They are essential.

The apostle Paul explained how the church as a community is like one body with many members: “If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet ‘I have no need of you.’ On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor…But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it” (1 Corinthians 12:17-23, 24).

Friends, God did not create humans with the intention that they walk through life alone. Together, we get more accomplished for the glory of God. We pick each other up when we fall. We keep each other warm and meet each other's needs. We look out for each other and work together to protect those among us who need it. Our individual strengths fill in what is lacking for the whole. No one in the body of Christ is dispensable.

Pray

Lord, I am so grateful for the partnerships and community that You have placed in my life. They meet so many of my needs and strengthen the areas that I am lacking. I am privileged to get to strengthen them as well. Help to use the gifts that You have given me for Your glory and to serve the body of Christ well. Amen.

~ Pastor Nat Crawford

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