A Little Help from My Friends

Douglas VanBronkhorst

READ : Ecclesiastes 4:7-12

Pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! (v. 10)

Here’s another way life is difficult. Good relationships are hard to find. We were created for community, but sin intrudes. We are by nature self-centered, so we find ourselves alone—alone in the crowd, having superficial relationships with people who don’t care about us; alone in dysfunctional, abusive relationships; or even literally alone, with no real friends at all. The Teacher says being alone makes life meaningless (v. 7).

Without community, we have no reason to work and no ability to enjoy life (v. 8). Without friends, it’s virtually impossible to handle evil tragedies (vv. 10-12). But what value is this teaching to one who is alone? Building good relationships is difficult at best, and success isn’t entirely up to us.

This is why we need to make God our friend. If we have a relationship with him, we will never be entirely alone. More than that, he can help us curb our self-centeredness so we can make friends with others. The reference to “a cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (v. 12) may just be poetic description of the strength of friendship, but it is also suggestive of the strength and joy of relationships that include God.


Lord, be a friend to me so I can be a friend to others also. Amen.