When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was he replied that it was to love God above all else. But He added that the second greatest commandment is to love one another. Some commentators argue that love for 13 better togetherGod can only be expressed through love actions for others. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 tells us about all the benefits of working together. Solomon speaks to us from a human perspective here, not from the divine perspective. God gives us a commandment and instructs us on how to live a happy and successful life. I often argue that when we simply trust God’s biblical directives we will have the fullest possible life. But Solomon explains how obeying God’s directive of relating appropriately to each other will make our life “under the sun” much more rewarding in all of its many aspects. He’s giving us some very practical advice for getting along in this life under the sun. Rather than see people as objects, rivals, or unnecessary, we should embrace our need for each other and learn how to work together for a common good. All concerned are better off. The bottom line in this life “under the sun” is that we truly need each other.

In verse 9, he begins by explaining how we can get so much more done if we learn how to work together. He says, “two or better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.” Two human souls combine their strength, creativity, talent, and ambition. Synergy (the intangible chemistry of working together) takes over. You share the work but you also share a greater reward. Everyone knows that the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. When you do the math, you find that 1 + 1 adds up to some value greater than two.

Verse 10 tells us that we need each other in our walk through life together. It says, “For if they fall (people who are alone), no one will be there to lift him up.” In life we all encounter episodes where we are totally helpless if we must do it all by ourselves. Yes, even in our modern world we fall as we travel the many paths in life. Kathy’s car dropped its transmission on 156th & Fort, on Tuesday night while I was at an Elders’ meeting. What was she going to do? What could she do if she had not one to call or no one to help her? Solomon says, “Woe to him who is alone when he falls…” In those days they didn’t have OnStar to take care of calling the tow truck. Also, Kathy called my brother who lived near 156th & Maple. He came to get her and help her with all the details of the problem. She called me to let me know what happened. I was so glad that Dave was there to help. He stayed with her, took her home, and then back again when the tow truck finally arrived two hours later.