When facing predators, animals use many different ways of keeping themselves from becoming prey. Some use chemicals that are in their bodies. Some use smell or camouflage. And some use grouping strategy. By staying together in a large group, animals such as the meerkat and the zebra effectively make themselves less vulnerable to the attacks of predators. These animals have an instinctive understanding that there is strength in numbers. When they stay together, they make it harder for a predator to attack, but one animal alone is easy prey.
John Dickinson, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, penned a pre-Revolutionary War song titled, “The Liberty Song,” which appeared in the Boston Gazette in 1768. One of the song’s verses contained the words, “Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all! By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.” These words echo the words of Jesus in Luke 11:17, where Jesus said that a house divided against itself cannot stand. John Dickinson understood that there is strength in numbers. When we are united, we can stand against our enemies, but when we are divided, we easily fall to their attacks.
There is strength in numbers. As believers, this is an important concept for us to understand. We have an enemy who is a predator. He prowls around like a roaring lion, just looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). We need to be alert and watchful for his attacks. One of the best ways we can be alert is by staying united, by being part of a fellowship of believers who are of one accord and devoted in prayer (Acts 1:14). When we are united in Christ, when we lift each other up in prayer and worship together, we are a force against which our enemy cannot prevail.
In Ecclesiastes, Solomon spoke of the importance of fellowship and the truth that there is strength in numbers. He told us that two are better than one for several reasons. Two can accomplish more than one can, they can lift each other up when they fall, they can keep each other warm (Ecclesiastes 4:9-11). Solomon ended this passage of Scripture by saying that a man may easily prevail against another who is alone, but two will be able to stand against him, especially when those two are united in Christ, creating a “threefold cord” that is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12). In other words, there is strength in numbers. Our enemy cannot prevail against us when we live in fellowship with others, united in Christ.