I actually want people to continue reading the blog, so I won’t spend too much time on the first few verses of today’s passage. It’s pretty depressing, huh? Like I said when we examined Psalm 88, I hope no one reading this can really relate to what’s being said. The first verse is a bit odd, considering that this is the king talking. I could understand it a little better if it was a poor disenfranchised peasant who was saying this. I mean, King Solomon lost his way and was involved in a disobedient lifestyle, but I don’t see him as a monster even at his worst. But even the best kings can only do so much. Sin has touched every area of existence, and there’s never been a government that wasn’t affected. As such, even with a basically good king in charge, there’s going to be some horrible injustice that occurs without his knowledge.
And then we get to some of the strangest verses in the Bible. Does he really mean what he says in vss. 2-3? Does he really believe that stillborn children are better off than the living, that every man can legitimately say that it was better that he not be born? Again, much of this is spoken from a materialistic viewpoint. If we really didn’t believe that there’s a God in heaven and an afterlife for all of us, then all the unjust suffering in the world logically leads to saying things like this. This is how dark a world separated from God can get.
I know for a fact that vs. 4 doesn’t have to be true all the time. If pleasing and serving the Lord is the motivation behind your labor, you can actually find meaning and purpose in it. But if your labor and achievement really are motivated by envy, then it really is meaningless and a waste of time. Ask yourself this: Millions of years from now, when the sun has burned itself out and all human achievement is just dust and ashes, then what difference will your labor have made?
Then we come to some verses which have some special meaning for me. Life can get hard, as we’ve read and as you’ve undoubtedly experienced. But the Lord's given us some blessings which can make things a lot easier. Yes, there’s the blessing of his presence in our lives, along with all the attendant benefits. But along with that, he’s given us companionship.
That’s why vss. 9-12 are inscribed on my wedding ring. Now, is the passage referring mainly to marriage? Probably not. But like most Scriptural wisdom, it has multiple layers of meaning. I know that in my marriage, she’s certainly picked me up when I’ve fallen. And I can certainly attest that it’s easier to keep warm when you have a bedmate!
But it can also apply to friendships as well. When life gets cold, it’s easier to keep “warm” when you have someone. And it’s important to keep these relationships alive, because it’s a lot tougher to pick yourself up without some help.
But here’s something else. Any marriage is going to come under stress, and if you’re in one in which you’ve decided to do things God’s way, you’re going to come under assault from the Enemy. But if you have the “third strand,” then it’s a lot tougher for the “cord” to be broken. I don’t know about you, but I thank the Lord that he’s the One who keeps our marriage together. But like I said before, the principle can be expanded to other areas of life. I don’t think there’s just one application here. The main point is that you don’t need to go through this life alone. You weren’t designed to. And the best relationships are those in which the Lord is the “third strand” who binds you together.
So right now who’s lifting you up when you fall? Who’s keeping you warm? Thank God for that person, and let them know you appreciate them.
Father, I thank you so much for the close friends you’ve brought into my life. Most especially I thank you for the best friend I could ever have in this life. You’ve used her to make this world such a brighter place than it would be.