Study from God’s Word… Dr. Smith’s reading of Ecclesiastes in Chronological Order cover the topics of the emptiness of human wisdom, pleasure, achievement, human labor, the human condition, unshared lives [today’s passage], false worship, politics, wealth/materialism/prosperity, defiance, wickedness, injustice, and the emptiness of human strength … Passage for Reflection: Ecclesiastes 4: 11 – 12 … NIV 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
My Journal for Today: Reading through the various passages selected by F. LaGard Smith today to emphasize Solomon’s realization of the meaningless of a life lived for self, one has to be struck with one repeated phrase which keeps being recited over and over again by Solomon as he exposes the elements of life which are lived without God and for self. The repeated sentence is, ”This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” So, as man plays the “Lone Ranger” game of Christian life by seeking meaning through all of the elements documented above, to which Solomon refers in Ecclesiastes, have you not discovered by now that chasing life for self is “chasing after the wind?” BUT, seeking God (primarily through His word) gives a person, or, even better, a married couple, that extra strand to strengthen us when we find ourselves chasing after the wind in meaninglessness.
Today’s highlight verse emphasizes one such aspect of life which provides power, strength, and direction so that we will not be “chasing after the wind.” And Dr. Smith uses the word picture of a wedding ceremony which uses the ceremonial picture of showing the joining of THREE strands together in a “marriage cord,” invoking God as the third strand, to give the marriage so much more strength than it would have if the cord of marriage only was woven by two cords.
You know, my wife and I were married in a church; but neither of us had Christ in our lives. Therefore, our church vows were meaningless in God’s eyes, much like what Solomon brought out in Ecclesiastes. We were joined in life by a marriage contract of two coming together in agreement rather than having the third cord of God in our marriage. So, for the first 18 years of our marriage we tried to make life work together with two cords intertwined. And it didn’t work, almost coming unraveled at one point as we dealt with the winds of distrust and my own personal selfishness. Then we let Christ into our marriage; and our two-corded strand became a three-corded strand; and a marriage which had been chasing, but bucking, the head winds of life, was given that THIRD STRAND of Christ to turn our marriage ship into the wind, and use God’s sail to move us through life, together again, but this time with a three-corded strand.
Oh, how I pray that you’re not trying to go through life alone with only one cord to deal with life. You and God together, if you’re single, can be so much stronger. But if you’re married, and you’ve seen the advantage of a two-corded strand, working together for and with each other, you’ll add so much more strength and purpose to your marriage if it is bound by the covenant relationship of that Third Cord of Christ. And it’s never too late for a husband and wife to go to God and ask Him to become the Holy third strand in the cord of a marriage. And if you’re two-cords become three, you’re going to discover what my wife and I have discovered in the truth of Eccles. 4: 11-12; and I pray that you have God’s extra cord to wrap around your life for strength.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, You, as the third cord in our marriage, give us the strength we need and the direction we seek to live our lives TOGETHER for You. Amen