Posts Tagged ‘Ecclesiastes’

Two Are Better Than One

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.  For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

Ecclesiastes 4:10

The longer I live and the more I study and think about the Christian life, the more I realize how important good, Godly friends are. We all need encouragement.  We all need prayer.  We all need help.  And sometimes we all even need someone to tell us that we are wrong.  There are so many reasons that “two are better than one,” but we will only look at a few today. 

1. Because they have “a good reward for their labour.”
-It’s a lot easier to work with another person than it is to work by yourself.  You get so much more done with another person to help you than you could possibly get done alone.  You can help each other stay focused and you can help each other by picking up the slack when the other falters.

2. Because they can “pick each other up.”
-During our lives, we are all going to falter at some point.  None of us are perfect and none of us are going to live perfect lives.  Some of us will simply stumble from time to time and some of us will fall flat on our faces.  When a fellow Christian falls on their face, we sometimes tend to look down our noses at our fallen brother or sister.  We are quick to condemn them and slow to forgive them.  Instead of looking down at them, we should be helping them up.  When a soldier is taken captive in a war, his fellow soldiers don’t sit around and talk about what a horrible soldier he must be to have been taken captive.  They go to battle to recover him and bring him back.  That should be our approach to those “taken captive by the devil.”  When a brother or sister falters, steady them.  When they fall, pick them up. 

Two are better than one.  Let us be the one to encourage our fellow Christians who are faltering and help up those who have fallen.  Someday we may be the ones who are stumbling.

One Handful or Two?

Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.

Ecclesiastes 4:6

Ecclesiastes is full of very simple truths.  This simple truth tells us that it is better to just have one handful with quietness than it is to have two handfuls with “travail and vexation of spirit.”  It is better to have something on the inside than it is to have something on the outside.  It is better to have a little and have peace than it is to have a lot and have all kinds of problems.

How often do we get greedy of gain and forfeit our peace of mind for it?  It is our nature to always want more and more.  It is our nature to never be satisfied with what we have.  Greed is ingrained in our flesh and is the close cousin of pride. 

We have all read the stories of the richest men in the world who have killed themselves or gone into depression.  Rich and famous movie and music stars often have serious problems with drug use and depression.  Those in the world wonder how this could be- these people have “everything.”  They have money and they have fame.  But, as the old saying goes, “money can’t buy happiness.” 

Those who know the Lord and know the Bible know the answer to this riddle: how can these rich and famous people not be happy?  They have “both the hands full.”  They have everything the world says that they need.  But they are not satisfied.  While they may have “both the hands full”, they also have travail and vexation of spirit.  They don’t know peace.

We may not have everything that we think we want, but if we have the “peace that passes all understanding”, we have something that most people in this world will never know.

A handful with quietness really is better than both hands full with vexation of spirit.

Wisdom > Folly

Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.

Ecclesiastes 2:13

Nobody would ever dare to argue that foolishness is better than wisdom.  Nobody would actually say that being a fool is superior to being wise.  But how often do people (ourselves included) live like there is something great about folly and something not desirable about wisdom?

This verse tells us that “wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.”  Not only is wisdom better than folly, but wisdom is so much better than folly that you really can’t even compare the two.  The comparison between light and darkness is one of obvious contrast.  There is absolutely nothing light about darkness and there is absolutely nothing dark about light.  As such, there is an infinite chasm between wisdom and folly.  There is no wisdom at all in foolishness and there is no folly in wisdom.  The two ideas, like light and darkness, are mutually exclusive.  You are either going to have one or the other.

Wisdom is so far superior to darkness that it really seems redundant to keep writing about it.  But how often does our weak human nature tend toward foolishness?  Even as Christians who know the end of folly and know the greatness of wisdom, how often do we find ourselves buried in folly and far from wisdom?  I don’t know about you, but I battle it daily.  May we ask the Lord to help us live a life of wisdom and to avoid the folly that seems to present itself at every turn in our lives!