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The strongest ropes and cables that we can design and construct are not just a single strand. They are made up of many strands that allow flexibility as well as give remarkable strength. We braid several strands into ropes for strength, and in that sense, more is better. The Bible alludes to this principle. In Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 [9] Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. [10] For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falls; for he has not another to help him up. [11] Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? [12] And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
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there are several examples that show that working together in unity is a source of added strength. Some call this synergy—combined or coordinated strength through working together. Two people working together can achieve more than two people working separately. The promotion of unity in a company is one of the major keys to success. We call ourselves the United Church of God because we know that united we stand and divided we fall. In the passage in Ecclesiastes, five examples are given to show the benefit of "more." They are: two working together, two traveling together, two surviving the cold, two defending themselves and a threefold cord or rope. These examples are well chosen to really make a point. Two Are Better "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor" (Ecclesiastes 4:9 Ecclesiastes 4:9Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.
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). The first example states that when two work together in a partnership, they have more success. There are a number of reasons for this. More work can be done because there are times when an extra pair of hands speeds up a task. There are also two heads to come up with ideas or solutions to problems. Besides the purely physical reasons for a better performance, people tend to encourage one another. A partner is a great source of support in this way. When Jesus sent out the disciples, He sent them out two by two (Luke 10:1 Luke 10:1After these things the LORD appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, where he himself would come.
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; Mark 6:7 Mark 6:7And he called to him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;
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). They were to precede Him in every town that He planned to visit. That is quite a remarkable statement about Jesus' own plans. If 82 (His 12 apostles plus the 70) men were sent out ahead of Jesus, at the very least He intended to visit 41 towns and villages. It is more likely that He visited three or four times that many. The Bible contains only a fraction of the wonders that Jesus did in His ministry. Woe to Him Who Is Alone "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" (Ecclesiastes 4:10 Ecclesiastes 4:10For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falls; for he has not another to help him up.
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). Recently a man was alone in the wilds of Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, and a tree fell on him. He lay trapped for six full days before anyone knew he was there. He could have died, as many have in accidents where they were alone. A friend would have been able to help or at least go for help if the problem was too great. Avoiding Hypothermia "Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone?" (Ecclesiastes 4:11 Ecclesiastes 4:11Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
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). Solomon's third example shows that two together can supply enough heat for one another to keep warm. One person alone is much more subject to hypothermia than two or three. On Mount Hood three climbers were caught in a storm. One apparently dislocated his shoulder. His friends realized he could not climb down, so they left him in an ice cave and went for help. Tragically his two friends didn't survive the dangerous descent, and he was not able to survive on his own. He was found dead of hypothermia. Sadly enough these three climbers had a cell phone and the ice cave location was known. Had the three stayed together, they would have had a good chance of being rescued at the first break in the weather. Three in the ice cave would have been able to help one another. A man alone cannot stay warm for long. With the cold, clear thinking is affected. Protecting Your Back "Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him" (Ecclesiastes 4:12 Ecclesiastes 4:12And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
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). The fourth example has to do with self-defense. One man can be easily overcome because he cannot protect his back. With two standing back to back, they add strength to one another and protect each other. The ability to defend themselves is greatly enhanced. Wolves use this principle. If they can isolate even an animal as large as a moose, they can overpower it in time. Wolves attack in a pack and all focus on the one animal they select. An animal as powerful as a bear can successfully be attacked by a pack of wolves, because the bear cannot protect its flanks. Threefold Cord "And a threefold cord is not quickly broken" (Ecclesiastes 4:12 Ecclesiastes 4:12And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
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, last part). In the fifth example, we come back to the rope I mentioned at the beginning. A cord of three strands is not easily broken. A braided rope is flexible as well as strong. The benefits are many. This principle can also apply to people. Three people add to the strength of the group. Decision-making is eased when three are involved because a blockage in communication can be solved more readily. In Matthew 18:16 Matthew 18:16But if he will not hear you, then take with you one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
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, 20 Jesus said when two or three are gathered in His name, He is there among them and that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word is confirmed. So three is like added insurance. All of these examples show the design of God for humans to learn to work together. We need one another, and we have a great inner desire to feel needed and wanted. The principles seem simple, but because we are complex and all different, working and staying together do take effort. Someone noted that marriage is the art of two incompatible people learning to live compatibly. We need to develop that art in order to survive. All of us are incompatible in the sense that we have differing needs, wants, values and experiences. No two are the same, even if they come from the same family. Male and female are different, and as life goes on, we realize that we continually change. Our views change and so do our values. It is the art of learning to live compatibly that does not change. The Bible defines this process as loving God with all our heart, soul and mind and loving our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-39 Matthew 22:37-39 [37] Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. [38] This is the first and great commandment. [39] And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
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). We are incompatible with God as well as incompatible with one another. We need to change so that we are no longer incompatible. That does not mean we need to be exactly the same in every way. The lesson we need to learn is that we cannot stand alone. We need the gift that God offers, which is the sacrifice of His beloved Son to cleanse us of sin. We cannot inherit this universe or eternal life on our own. We need help. In a sense, we need the partnership God offers—we need Him to raise us up when we fall, to keep us warm and to defend us from Satan. The Bible tells us that God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son dwell in converted people (John 14:23 John 14:23Jesus answered and said to him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our stayed with him.
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). We can never grow enough in grace and knowledge. We need to continue to increase. More is better when the choices we make are guided by His hand. UN