One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Proverbs 6:6-8:
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! 7 It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, 8 yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.
Over the years, I’ve listened to sermons and read articles about these two verses. In short, these scriptures are a call for personal responsibility. Here are some of the things I’ve learned, and I am still learning from this wonderful nugget of Proverbs:
Go to the ant
- Go to the creation—we learn from nature. God gives us models and object lessons from His great world. Psalm 19:1
- According to Wikipedia, about 12,500 ants out of 22,000 species have been classified.
- They form complex communities called colonies.
- Ants inhabit almost every landmass across the Earth. I bet you there are a few crawling around on the floors of Fort Knox, the White House and Bin Laden’s hiding place.
- Why sluggard? I may be reading too much into the verse, but where do you find sluggards? Resting on the ground or picnicking when they should be working. Of course, this is where you find the ant.
- Sluggards are: foolish, lazy, idle, hate work, make excuses, don’t want to learn, don’t finish things.
- The ant teaches us how NOT to be a sluggard.
Consider its ways and be wise!
- Ants show initiative, they cooperate; they work together for a common goal. Sound like something else we find in the Bible? The Body of Christ.
- I’ve never noticed ants arguing or griping. Haven’t noticed any picket lines or strikes. They work in unity—Phil 2:1-8
- Ants know their job and they do it with gusto. Do we know our gifts, God’s commands, what He calls us to do? Only as we know WHO we are, can we DO with effectiveness.
It has no commander, no overseer or ruler,
- Ants exercise personal responsibility. How is an ant motivated? Who motivates us?
- Rather than operating on instinct we must choose to be diligent. God supplies Christians with wisdom—the Holy Spirit. He gives us an inner drive, inner motivation, talents and gifts. We must act upon them and use them.
- The ant may not have to learn diligence and initiative—we do.
- They use their gifts and talents for the colony—for others. It’s not just about them.
Yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.
- Ants plan ahead. They take care of their colony. We can apply this strategy to several areas of life.
- Goals, finances, family, career, education—what about that will you’ve been meaning to write? What about that business you’ve been wanting to form?
- What are some goals you have set for the current year?
- Ants are decisive and act with perfect timing.
I hope you enjoyed this scripture from Proverbs. It definitely encourages me to live intentionally and responsibly and to use the gifts God has so graciously given me.
What about you? Do you see additional object lessons from the ant?