More than a quarter million Bangladeshis were killed by a typhoon in November 1970. Horrifying! But wait, twice that number of Americans were killed by an influenza virus in 1918. In the summer of 1995 excessive heat killed over 700 Americans while in the same year severe cold or hypothermia killed more than 2,000. I am not trying to list a catalog of calamities; I want to explain how the world really works by posing an important question.
Why would God create a world filled with frequently fatal meteorological events, disease and intolerable heat and cold? Why couldn’t God have just made the entire world with the mild weather of coastal British Columbia and with no germs or viruses?
Ancient Jewish wisdom answers this question.
In the Lord’s language, Hebrew, the words for not good are Lo Tov.
This phrase occurs only twice in the Torah. It appears first in Genesis 2:18 when God declares,
It is not good for man to be alone.
The phrase appears again in Exodus 18:17, when Moses’ father in law criticizes Moses for not delegating and trying to do all the teaching by himself.
And Moses’ father in law said to him, “What you are doing is not good.”
In Genesis, God is not speaking only in the context of Adam’s future matrimonial prospects. Moses’ father-in-law is repeating the same message, even for his son-in-law who has the closest relationship with God. It is never good for people to be isolated from other people. The message in both places is: Find ways to collaborate and you will thrive, but alone you will perish.
Like any parent, our Father in Heaven wants His children to relate to one another with love and concern rather than indifference. Imagine a father wanting his three children to remain connected to one another always. He might bequeath to each just a part of the combination to activate a safe into which he had placed their inheritance. This way they would need to cooperate in order to acquire their legacy. Similarly, our Father in Heaven has incentivized us to cooperate and collaborate.
Think of being parachuted down onto a remote uninhabited desert island. It is a fine tropical island with the drawback of very high temperatures. It is almost unbearably hot on that sun seared beach. However, you are not dismayed because back home you were a successful heating/air conditioning technician so you determine to build yourself a little air conditioned beach shack. How long will it take you to build a working air conditioner?
The answer, of course, is that you never will. On this island there is nobody making and selling sheet metal. The same goes for rubber tubing, compressors and condensers. Not to mention that there is nobody generating electricity. All the wonderful appliances and devices that make life comfortable and even possible only come about through human cooperation. In other words, God incentivized us to connect, communicate, cooperate, and collaborate. It is as if He is saying to us, “My children, I have created a world with tough challenges. Here’s your choice: Learn to get on together or you will live short and painfully unpleasant lives.”
In 1953, a flood drowned nearly 2,000 Dutchmen in the Netherlands. Why has no subsequent North Sea flood done anything similar? Because immediately following that disaster, the Dutch got together and pooled capital and engineering know-how to build the world’s largest land reclamation project ever.
One family alone can never protect itself from an epidemic. However, when millions of families pool their capital and expertise, over time they come up with a vaccine against the rampaging disease. Far more successful small businesses are launched by partnerships and teams than by one entrepreneur laboring alone.
By highlighting that the phrase Lo Tov — it is not good — appears only twice in the Torah and that both occurrences involve someone disconnected from others, we learn a vital life lesson. The good things in life come when we are not alone. Connecting, communicating, cooperating and collaborating with others allows us to achieve far more goodness than we possibly can alone.
There is considerably more ancient Jewish wisdom highlighting not only the infinite range of potential that more and better connections can unleash in your life but also practical strategies to make that happen. I have collected the best of these and made them available for you to employ in your social and business life in a 2 CD audio package entitled Prosperity Power—Connect For Succe$$. (Check out the instant download option which is on sale.) Listen while you commute or exercise or even as you doze off in bed. It is material you need to hear more than once.
Whether as a gift for someone who’ll realize how important they are to you or for yourself, this program will not only teach you things you didn’t know about the Bible and about human connection, but it will also help you transform yourself into a vastly improved connector. That is good for your finances, it is good for your health, and it makes our Father in Heaven smile. And that is really good.