Not staying alone in your search for truth

In-between our series about “making church” we had a look yesterday on an exhortation from some weeks ago. We looked at that wise man, who was blessed by God to have lots of wisdom and power.

File:Thoma Loneliness.jpg
Loneliness. – 1880, Hans Thoma (1839–1924)

Solomon told us that

Though one may be overwhelmed, two can deal with it. Two are better than one. Three is even better.

And as Jesus could attest,

twelve can change the world.

When looking for the truth we often may find that we are lonely, standing on our own. You should know that there are many more people looking for the truth and searching for a way to honour in the right way the One behind everything, The Divine Creator.

Abandoned, fear for being on our own

So often we can feel ourselves abandoned or neglected. Jesus at one moment even felt abandoned by his heavenly Father. In case he is God than naturally he could not abandon himself and than Jesus had not at all any reason to be afraid of man or death, because God tells the world that man can do Him (God) nothing, and that He (Jehovah, God) can not die. But Jesus, being a man of flesh and blood could really die and did die, whilst God is an eternal Spirit, not having , flesh, bones or blood, Who shall always be everywhere. This Elohim being everywhere at all times, means that He is also around us and can see and hear what we do and we are also told that He knows our heart at all times and therefore knows our thinking and sees and understand our handling.

Christ in Gethsemane (Christus in Gethsemane),...
Christ in Gethsemane asking his heavenly Father, the only One True God to help him to have enough strength and not to leave him alone (Christus in Gethsemane), oil painting by Heinrich Ferdinand Hofmann (Heinrich Hofmann). The original is at the Riverside Church (Riverside Church, New York City). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We should be more afraid of Him than of any man. In case we really love Him we should show that by honouring Him and by trying to do His will, like Jesus also did not his own will, but the Will of God. Again here if Jesus would be God, Jesus would always have done his own will, him being God, but the Bible tells us that Jesus did not want to do his own will and prayed to his heavenly Father Who had sent him (Jesus) to this world to save us.

This sent one from God, who came after Abraham and King David, as the seed of them, but was promised long before Abraham and David were born, told us a lot about his relationship with the Father (Jehovah God) and how we should relate to him (Jesus) and his Father, plus to the by God created living beings. Apart from Jesus, we may find an other insightful teacher about relationships in the smart man Solomon. He knew everything about anything, and he had everything there was to have.

Great leader Solomon

The world has known many great leaders, but this one and king David were very special ones. King Solomon, the youngest son of David and Bathsheba, inherited an empire that extended in the northeast to the Euphrates, in the southeast to the Gulf of Aqaba, and in the southwest to the borders of Egypt and Philistia. He ruled as a grand monarch, supreme in power and regal in splendour and became a person well spoken off. Many people became impressed by the wisdom he showed to have. Impartial and eager for wisdom and understanding, he was famous as a wise and even-handed judge. As a man of God he could have avoided to write about his faults but in three sections of the Bible ascribed to his authorship: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon (Song of Songs), we get a good impression of his doings and can also see where he went wrong or what went wrong. Solomon‘s reign, which he ruled as a grand monarch, supreme in power and regal in splendour, was marked by foreign alliances (notably with Egypt and Phoenicia) and the greatest extension of Israel’s territory in biblical times. Solomon believed that his kingdom and especially his capital city of Jerusalem should reflect the power and glory of Israel’s king. He undertook a series of elaborate building operations, fortifying the strategic and economic towns within his realm. He took care that the the first temple in Jerusalem got constructed, a magnificent temple on Mt. Moriah. For that city he completed the defence wall and also built luxurious palaces, sponsored industrial and commercial enterprises that brought him wealth, and constructed copper smelting furnaces in the Negev. However, his despotism resulted in the alienation of Nation Israel and the revolt of Jeroboam I.

Guide about successful living

Like modern great leaders, Solomon took it upon himself to write down a “how-to” guide about successful living. When looking on our own, being frustrated it is not bad to open your Bible and read Ecclesiastes.

For the first several chapters Solomon goes on and on about how everything in this life is meaningless. Work is meaningless. Wealth is meaningless. Everything is a chasing after the wind. And when we look around us, do we not see lots of people chasing after the wind?

Are our dreams realistic? In what degree are we able to fulfil our dreams and cope with our aspirations (ambition, craving, endeavour, yearning, eagerness)?

When everything seems so meaningless and so useless, we should look at why Solomon is forced to pause at one of the few things that defies the meaninglessness of life in chapter four of the book Ecclesiastes or Book of the Preacher. We, like him should come to see how important it is to come to recognize the Hand behind everything and how we all are connected to that what is created, the plants, animals and man. That relationship to other people is worth more than great riches. Here are his words on the matter.

Ecclesiastes 4:1 The Scriptures 1998+  (1)  Then I looked again at all the oppression that is done under the sun: And see! The tears of the oppressed, but they have no comforter; and power on the side of their oppressors, but they have no comforter.

How many in this world are not pushed down by others and when we show ourselves to others, how many do not laugh with us and our ideas about a Divine Creator and willing to hold church?

Ecclesiastes 4:8 The Scriptures 1998+  (8)  There is one, without a second, who has neither son nor brother. And there is no end to all his labours. His eye also is not satisfied with riches. “And for whom am I toiling and depriving myself of good?” That too is futility, and an evil task.

Nobody to limit

Being alone may perhaps look easy and would make it easier to make money grow for oneself. With no people limiting his potential, he was able to lots of working-hours per week and could become extraordinarily successful. Solomon also became excessively rich and wealthy, and he kept accumulating and accumulating more of it. He was spending his life away to work for more money. Until one day he asked a very good question.

You too, are you yourself by doing the works of this world not depriving yourself of many more worthy or more important spiritual things?

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 The Scriptures 1998+  (9)  Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labour.  (10)  For if they fall, one lifts his companion up. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.

Labour for God and companionship

This should also make us think about the labour for God, the call from Jesus Christ to go around in the world and to start a community of believers. When we are on our own just having ourselves to keep worshipping God it will not be so easy to keep it up in all circumstances. Not only are two better than one, because they can get a good or even better return for their effort; they may help each other when one or the other shows or has a weaker moment. When being with more than one this would give an opportunity to see the difficulties of the other and to help him or her when he or she falls. The one will lift up his companion, and this will make it better to sustain and to continue to grow as well. But oy or woe to the one who falls and has not another to help him up.

When you did not find a church to join and you start one of your own, you shall need others to keep attention so that you nor others would go sleeping. When you are with more than one, there shall be the other one to warn and warm one another and to raise each other.

Dangers of being on your own

Throughout Scriptures we can find many cases were dangerous situations occurred because people were or felt on their own.

File:Arbeitsbesuch Libanon (8648313009).jpgIt started already very early in mankind with Eve who was alone and got her mind twisting around having her doubting about the honesty of her Maker. Eve, not with Adam, was isolated. Alone. Vulnerable. The consequences weren’t so good. Later we find king David without his forces he had sent to war, isolated and wondering about the female beauty and how she could take away his feeling of loneliness.

Such isolation and vulnerability we should avoid. When we have left our previous church or when we did not have a church and went looking for one, we should avoid staying too long on our own. We should try to find other searchers, other people looking for the same issues as we are.

Spiritual salary

The “return for their work” many may thinking of it, is talking about a financial matter. When two work together, they get a larger salary. But the kind of salary Solomon is talking about isn’t financial. He goes on to explain what their return looks like.

Ecclesiastes 4:11-12 The Scriptures 1998+  (11)  Also, if two lie down together, they keep warm; but how does one keep warm by himself?  (12)  Although one might be overpowered, two withstand him. And a threefold cord is not readily broken.

This is well illustrated by the fable of the dying father, who, to shew his sons the advantages of union, gave them a bundle of twigs, which could not be broken when bound together, but were easily snapped asunder one by one.

Two men in a lonely and out-of-the-way place can take turns keeping watch. Two men travelling through a dangerous place may each watch the other’s back — so as not to be surprised by ambush. Thus two men can defend one another much more effectively than any one man can defend himself alone (cp 2Samuel 10:11).

When more hands join the forces hard work becomes light labour. Not being on our own we can divide tasks and encourage each other, so that the work which has to be done does not look so hard to do or does not come onto one shoulder.

A third helper

In this section, up until now, all the stress has been on the two that are so much better than one. Now, almost incongruously, the writer introduces a third. If two are good, then three can be so much better! It may be that, especially now, when the two become three — it is not by the added help of a third weak human being, but because God Himself (or His Son, as His representative) has become the “third” in the relationship. So now the writer has elevated what might have been only a natural relationship to the level of a spiritual one. Once the Divine is introduced into this friendship and companionship, now such a “cord” is surely unbreakable. Each of the two human, mortal beings can look to the Third, who wraps them round, and binds them together, and strengthens them out of all proportion above what they might have been and done by themselves.

When going to make a church, you have to bring Jesus into it, making not a human organisation your base, but Jesus as the cornerstone, and round this fundamental stone you should start placing brick by brick, getting one person after the other joining you to build up together a union of faithful believers in Christ Jesus who like him do not want to do their own will but want to do the Will of God.

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Preceding:

Queen of Sheba visits Solomon

Looking for a biblically sound church

When seeing a biblically sound church

When not seeing or not finding a biblically sound church

Why the church keeps losing it’s grounds

3 Reasons Why You Should Go To A Small Church

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Additional reading

  1. Invitation to all who believe
  2. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything
  3. Greatest single cause of atheism
  4. What’s church for, anyway?
  5. We are ourselves responsible
  6. Failing Man to make free choice
  7. Walking alone?
  8. What loneliness is more lonely than distrust?
  9. Open your heart
  10. Companionship
  11. Vayikra after its opening word וַיִּקְרָא, which means and He called
  12. Looking for something or for the Truth and what it might be and self-awareness
  13. Church has to grow through witness, not by proselytism
  14. Two new encyclopaedic articles
  15. Your New Job Description — Bless!
  16. Making church
  17. Congregate, to gather, to meet
  18. Meeting – Vergadering
  19. Gathering or meeting of believers
  20. Contribution – Contributie, bijdrage
  21. Philippians 1:3–6 – Partnership in the Gospel
  22. 1 Corinthians 15 Hope in action
  23. A new school-, academic and church year
  24. An ecclesia in your neighbourhood
  25. Small churches of the few Christadelphians
  26. Finding our identity in serving God
  27. The work I do, let it be done good
  28. Begin by carrying away small stones to remove a mountain
  29. God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supplies
  30. How do you keep people from stealing your joy?
  31. A treasure which can give me everything I need
  32. Determine the drive
  33. Aim High: Examples of Godly Characters to follow
  34. Those who make peace should plant peace like a seed
  35. Compassion and Discipline
  36. See God in everyone you meet
  37. God won’t ask
  38. Communion and day of worship
  39. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  40. Church has to grow through witness, not by proselytism
  41. Kingdom of God what will it be like
  42. Being fit to take care of a garden
  43. True riches
  44. King Solomon’s mines

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