By Elizabeth Prata
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. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
Gill’s Exposition says of the Ecclesiastes verses:
Two are better than one,…. The wise man takes occasion, from the solitariness of the covetous man before described, to show in this and some following verses the preferableness and advantages of social life; which, as it holds true in things natural and civil, so in things spiritual and religious. Man is a sociable creature, was made to be so; and it was the judgment of God, which is according to truth, and who can never err … that it was not good for man to be alone, Genesis 2:18. It is best to take a wife, or at least to have a friend or companion, more or less to converse with. Society is preferable to solitariness; conversation with a friend is better than to be always alone;BibleHub: Ecclesiastes. Gill’s
This past week I have had occasion to fellowship twice with loved ones from church. I don’t mean the quick talk after service as we’re standing around, as nice as that is. I don’t mean doing errands with someone or having a chat in the grocery line or playing volleyball on Wednesday night at Church or socializing in the church nursery in between babies, as nice as those all are.
I’m talking about meaningful, intentional, long, deep, theological discussions with someone or someones where the soul is touched by God’s words, meanings are expounded, and the cord between us that is Jesus is strengthened, winding tightly around us like a hug, drawing us together.
Before cell phones, television, and computers, people used to visit. Growing up we used to make the short drive to grandma’s house where all the other (Italian) relatives would come over too. Sunday supper, playing with the cousins, while the adults talked and talked. As a young adult in the 1980s, visiting was still in vogue. I was on the other side of the age difference by then. We’d drive over to the in-law’s and watch the little cousins playing and we’d sit around in wing chairs and talk about our week.
We don’t have time to visit any more, never mind spend time discussing Him and His ways and His word.
When we visit with open Bibles between us and talk over theological subjects and extol Jesus and knit together understandings, it’s on another whole level than just friendly Sunday visiting.
And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, (Acts 2:46a)
It’s funny … when I engage in social meetings for the sake of social meetings I come away drained and exhausted. That’s just how I am. But when I spend a long time meeting for the purpose to discuss Jesus and figure out knotty theological questions together I come away energized. We cannot see the Holy Spirit but by the energy I feel afterward I know He has been working. He transforms minds and hearts through His word. The cords knit together among believers cannot be broken, because what unites us is Jesus, and He cannot be broken.
Paul longed to see his fellows, so that “we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine” (Romans 1:12).
I can’t overestimate the power of making time to be with fellows for the purpose of glorifying God. “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.” (Source). We enjoy Him in private prayer, quiet time devotionals, personal Bible study…AND in society with fellow believers when we meet for intentional fellowship of seeking Him through His word. Discussions over coffee with open Bibles, at restaurant tables with broken chips and salsa, at homes when children are abed and asleep, coffee pot perking and chairs scraping the kitchen floor…however, whenever, meet with Jesus, together.