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  • Competition and Cooperation

    찬송 : 찬송가 525장 (새찬송가 221장)

  • 2016-12-09   [전도서(Ecclesiastes) 4:7 - 4:16]


    The preacher points out that a selfish and competitive life is vanity, and speaks of the benefits of cooperation. He concludes by speaking of the vanity of power.

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  • 7 Again, I saw vanity under the sun:
    8 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 busi
    9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.
    10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!
    11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?
    12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him--a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
    13 Better was a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knew how to take advice.
    14 For he went from prison to the throne, though in his own kingdom he had been born poor.
    15 I saw all the living who move about under the sun, along with that youth who was to stand in the king's place.
    16 There was no end of all the people, all of whom he led. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind.
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Thinking & Understanding
The preacher first declared that to toil without enjoying is vanity. Then the preacher said that two are better than one. This is because if one falls, the other is there to help him up. Similarly, two people could defend against an enemy that could not be defeated by just one person. Lastly, the preacher said that even if a king was successful, his fame and glory would not last forever; hence, success is also vanity (vv. 7-16).

What lesson is God teaching me?
Vv. 9-12 Cooperation in life and work is better. Toil can be shared and people can help one another when in danger. The unity of husband and wife is warm, like a blanket, and a cord made of three stands cannot easily be broken. We must be wary of wicked cultures that encourage us to only care for ourselves, our departments, our families, and even our churches. Let’s make sure our cultures work together, rather than become cultures that are divided by winners and losers.

Vv. 13-16 The final fate of an old king who hates being advised and a young king who is adored by the public is the same. An outstanding and experienced king will be forgotten when a new young king rises, and even the ever-so-popular young king will not be remembered by his descendants. As such, expectations and disappointments are constantly repeated in this world.

Prayer
God, we thank you for not leaving us alone, but giving us our family and friends with whom we can live in this world.