Summary: God did not design us to be loners.
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NOT CREATED TO BE LONERS
Again, I saw vanity under the sun: one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, “For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?” This also is vanity and an unhappy business (vv. 7-8).
Here is a man who so busy working that he has time for nobody else. He doesn’t have time for a wife or a family or friends. He is not satisfied because he’s only working for himself. He has no one with whom to share his wealth. And he never stops to ask himself, “For whom am I toiling?”
“It is strange to be known so universally, and yet to be so lonely”—Albert Einstein
So often we hear people say, “I’m so busy!” People are so busy that they don’t have time for their spouse, or their children, or their church, or their neighbor.
Instead of competing with our neighbor (v. 4), we should be caring for our neighbor.
We have a built-in desire for friendship:
• We were made in the image of a RELATIONAL God.
God is three in one (triune): Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He did not create us because He was lonely. In eternity past, He enjoyed fellowship within the Godhead. “In the beginning was the Word [Jesus], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). The Greek word for “with” (pros) can be translated “face to face with.” It indicates a personal relationship.
“God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness’” (Genesis 1:26). (“Us” could be the first hint of the Trinity in the Bible). Because we have been made in God’s image, we share with God the desire for fellowship. This is one reason why Facebook is so popular right now. People long for interaction with others. We are social beings.
• God said that living alone is “NOT GOOD.”
“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him’” (Genesis 2:18). God was above Adam, and creation was below him. But there was no one on his level to be his companion. So God created Eve. (This was a marriage relationship. Of course, many people remain single and have meaningful relationships.)
TWO ARE BETTER THAN ONE
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil (v. 9).
We are taught to be individuals. People say, “The only person I can really believe in is myself.” But we need others. They need us. Christians enjoy a personal relationship with God, but we also have been brought into a community of fellow believers—the church. And the church is a family.
In verses 10-12, the Preacher gives three illustrations to show why “two are better than one.” Each of these illustrations is taken from a danger of travel: (1) the danger of pits used as animal traps (v. 11), (2) the danger of cold nights (v. 12), and (3) the danger of thieves (v. 12).