Have you ever been emotionally hurt and needed to talk to a good friend? Have you ever prayed to God to ask Him to intervene for you? Have you ever needed the advice of your dad or mom? Have you ever attended United Youth Camps (UYC) and had the time of your life?
All of these examples relate to what wise old King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 4. Life teaches us that we need help from others, especially God.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12 (NIV)
9Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:
10If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
12Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (“a threefold cord”—NKJV)
In verse 12 what would a cord of three strands look like in terms of our lives? Here is my thought about one possible application of this verse:
God + Family + Church/Church Friends/UYC
The most important and strongest strand in your life is, of course, God. God can do it all. He formed you and He gave you life. God the Father gave up His dear Son Jesus Christ for you, and Jesus Christ gave up His life for you. Why did they do that? Because they love us so much, and so your sins and mine can be forgiven. There is no other way to have our sins removed except in this manner. A sin is when we break one of God’s laws, such as when we lie or break the Sabbath. And the penalty for sin is our death. The only way our strand with God can be broken is if we break off contact with Him, which we don’t ever want to do.
The second strand is your family—your parents and your siblings. The family is the backbone of any society. Your parents love you and are dedicated to protecting you, providing for you, caring for you and getting you launched as a young adult. Your family is a very strong strand in your life. You can go to your parents for help, encouragement and instruction in your life.
The third strand in your life is God’s Church, your Church friends and United Youth Camps. These all combine into one amazingly strong strand for you to hold onto for help during your teen years and into adulthood.
The Amazing Three-Strand Cord
The application in verse 12 is that three smaller cords are twisted together for greater strength. With a rope of three strands, even if two of the strands are under pressure and start to fray, as long as the third strand holds, the rope will not break!
Let’s apply that. Even if things in your family are not perfect, you have God as the first strand and the third strand of the Church/Friends/UYC to help you. And what if you did not have the best summer camp ever? You have God as your first strand, plus your family as the second strand. The same is true if one of your best friends let you down—you can ask God and your family to help you. So you always have help in time of need.
The threefold cord analogy reminds us that God is always there for you; so is your family, God’s Church, your Church friends and UYC. It is literally true—this threefold cord in your life is not easily broken. Count on it!