In Ecclesiastes 4:7-12, the passage talks about King Solomon, despite having all the riches and possessions in life, yet he described the woes of life. He emphasized the sorrow and agony that loneliness could cause, and it is better to have someone there to support you and lift you up than to endure the journey alone.
During the Old Testament days, people would come together to keep each other warm during terrible climates. The concept to take away from this scenario and apply it to our spiritual walk nowadays is that brethren and sisters of fellowship should always warm and lift each other up through communions and gatherings, to hold one another accountable and help one another to get through hard times. Otherwise, it would be much easier for us to backslide.
Ecclesiastes 4:7-8 Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun. There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail.
How often do we hear people who are rich and inherit a lot of material goods, complain that they are not happy with their lives, or how miserable they are because of loneliness? This is exactly what these two verses imply, and why the Bible always encourages us, followers, to come together and serve our Heavenly Father as a group.
The church should not just be a physical place that people gather, but it should be the sense of togetherness and cohesion that brethren and sisters share among one another. The same level of commitment, drive, dedication, and passion to carry out our duties as a follower of Christ. Our Father blessed us with people to fellowship with, and we should really make the most out of it.
It is so easy for us to bail out, and not wanting to join in the church meeting, or to go out and spread the gospel together, because that is what the flesh desires; complacency and laziness. Nonetheless, we should take the initiative to warm up to one another, and do what is right in God’s eyes. Do not let our worldly excuses become the hindrances of us attending the church and serving our Lord.
We need to remember that God judges us for our heart, if we truly have the heart to follow His words, we will find whatever ways to warm up.
In fact, whatever reasons the world tries to put on us to stop us from group fellowship. We need to use those reasons to fuel our willpower to do more for the Lord and to one-up Satan, for we know that if we can overcome such hurdle, our rewards will await us in heaven.
Think about the example of a drug addict, most often he/she resolves to use drugs as a remedy to eliminate loneliness. Nonetheless, the higher the addiction, the more misery, and pain it causes him/her. This is why having someone to walk with us along the way is crucial.
In another case, some of us may choose to walk away from the church and fellowship with our brethren and sisters because of our disappointment with the bad experiences.
No one is perfect, but only Jesus. There’s no reason to avoid the church just because it falls below our expectation of how holy the church should be and zero sin should be tolerated. If anything, this means the church requires us to hold one another accountable.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-11 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. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone ?
We would be so surprised, that sometimes even our brethren or sister who is backslidden or has messed up in their spiritual walk, can be that important person to lift us up when we fall. The point here is to have someone whom we can hold each other accountable.
Some of us may argue otherwise, that wouldn’t having another person slow us down, and become a burden in our walk with the Lord? According to Solomon, we are much better to have someone along the way, to be warm with one another, than to be cold and distant.
2 Corinthians 8:4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
It may require more effort from us when we are ministering to others, but it is about benefiting the receiving end, we should be thinking about the gain of others, not ourselves! Only from there that the Lord will benefit us and bless us.
To overcome all the language and cultural barriers is seriously not easy, but we will eventually reap the benefits of planting a seed of kindness and goodwill in the people that we minister to. That is what God wants from us.
Exodus 16:15,31 cf Numbers 11:6. This shows how the Hebrews were being ungrateful to God despite He gave them what they have been longing for – manna, when they were suffering in the wilderness.
This also applies to us Christians nowadays. Despite the blessing of great fellowship, we blew them. Let’s be reminded to take full advantage of these opportunities, for we may not know what will happen if we don’t.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
In this sense, the more the merrier. God wants us to warm up with more people regardless of the differences we all have. This will take us out of the miserable cold, and allow us to acquire the height of joy.
Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is ; but exhorting one another : and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Take this chance to reflect upon our behavior and hospitality at church. Are we treating everyone with warmth at church, or are we being selective? We should not pick and choose who we want to be nice to, love them for who they are just like how Jesus loved us for who we are.
1 John 1:6-7 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
Regardless of the imperfect state of us or others, that should not hinder the opportunity to fellowship together. It should be easy for us because fellowship simply means unifying based on a commonality we all share, and that is the word of God as bible believers.