Every Day Light
The fusion of friendship
"Two are better than one — A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." (vv. 9, 12).
For reading & meditation:
The reason I have turned your attention for the moment from Proverbs and focused it on the book of Ecclesiastes (another book in the library of Wisdom Literature) is because today's passage shows us better than any other in the Bible the reason why friendship is so important. This passage is saying: it's a good thing to have a friend because if you fall down a friend can help you up, or, when overcome by cold, a friend can help keep you warm. All through this passage on friendship, the emphasis is on two people - "two are better than one," "if two lie down" - but at the end of the passage the writer adds something very strange: "A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.' Most commentaries on this text dismiss these words as a literary device for the sake of emphasis. The NIV Study Bible, for example, describes it as "a climactic construction." But it is much more than that; the words contain a powerful truth. The point that is being made is this: when you are in a close relationship with another person you not only have what the other person gives to you in the friendship, or you to the other person, but you have a third quality - a strength and a power which comes out of the relationship and which you could never have known had you both stayed apart. In other words, in the fusion of friendship you discover a power that could never be discovered were you not in a relationship. It is your strength plus your friend's strength producing a new and even greater strength.
Father, now I see into the heart and meaning of friendship. Out of it comes a power and a strength that is greater than the sum of the two parts. Teach me more, dear Father. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
Come to http://www.cwr.org.uk for more inspirational devotions by Selwyn Hughes.