Proverbs 6, 7
“Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise! (6:6)
February 6 was Sunday so I read Proverbs 6 and 7 for today. Solomon is still pleading with his son to search for wisdom and avoid folly and specifically to avoid the adulterous woman. In chapter 6 he advises his son to ponder the characteristics of an “ant”! So by pondering ants we might grow insight into wisdom. So let’s consider the ant.
Ants are small and invasive. They appear on the kitchen counter as the most inconvenient times and they are so hard to get rid of. Perhaps that speaks to their industriousness and stick-to-it-ness. Do we go hard after the dreams of our hearts or are we more like the sluggard who waits for life to happen?
Ants live in colonies. Their most distinguishing characteristic according to one source is their social behavior. They communicate, avoid or fight enemies, follow birth roles in a kind of job class such as worker or soldier, and live in a nest. Some scientists claim they have personality. I’m holding my vote on that. We might phrase this by pondering how well we are a “team player” working for the good of the group or are we self centered with life revolving around what is good for self?
Solomon continues to say, “It (the ant) has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers it food at harvest.” A corollary for this is to ponder how we behave when the “boss” is not looking or when left to our own project. Are we trustworthy to get a job done or are we lazy?
For their size, ants are considered strong and ants have the largest brain of any insect. We as God’s creation can do amazing tasks of strength and can be so creative. The tower of Babel story in Genesis 11 tells how people working together can combine their strength and the efforts and build structures to reach for the skies to be like God. Ants have good characteristics but they can be a problem and so can we.
Perhaps today we are challenged to ponder how we, though small, with God’s help can accomplish seemingly impossible tasks – space travel, medicine, and organize aid drives in the face of disasters. We are social and need to pray that we use our socialness to help our neighbors. May we be industrious and stick to our faith and follow God as our leader.
Take the word “ant” and make an acrostics. A is for…., N is for…., T is for…. Pray those qualities into your life. Blessings.