Wisdom for the Ages: Ants Don’t Slack! Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Tuesday, March 6, 2018
This is devotional thought number 30 in our devotional series titled, “Wisdom for the Ages.”
“Go to the ant, you sluggard; observe its ways and be wise! It has no commander, overseer, or ruler, yet it prepares its food in the summer; it gathers at the harvest what it will eat. How long, you sluggard, will you lie there? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to relax, and your poverty will come like a robber, and your need like an armed man” (Proverbs 6:6–11, NET).
The Book of God’s Wisdom
Nature is one of God’s lesson books. Paul said that we can learn much about our invisible God through visible nature. Nature is not God, but it sure does give Him glory.
Here’s how David put it: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the sky displays his handiwork. Day after day it speaks out; night after night it reveals his greatness. There is no actual speech or word, nor is its voice literally heard. Yet its voice echoes throughout the earth; its words carry to the distant horizon. In the sky he has pitched a tent for the sun. Like a bridegroom it emerges from its chamber; like a strong man it enjoys running its course. It emerges from the distant horizon, and goes from one end of the sky to the other; nothing can escape its heat” (Psalm 19:1–6, NET).
Not only does all of nature glorify God, but is also dependent upon Him. Here’s one more passage: “Everything looks to you in anticipation, and you provide them with food on a regular basis. You open your hand, and fill every living thing with the food they desire” (Psalm 145:15–16, NET). There is much we can learn about God and how we must live through nature.
The Lazy Life
Life is not a carnival. Every day presents its own set of challenges. Every day presents its own growth opportunities. Some of us take on the challenges well. Others need extra coaxing and prodding.
Laziness is a scourge these days. So many have seen the apparent instant success of those who win lotteries, television game shows, talent competitions, etc., and convince themselves that the old ways of persistent, diligent effort are no longer required. Planning, determination, and long-term vision have become passe’.
What about the success stories of some network marketers who have amassed millions of dollars and receive hefty sums of residual income? Or those who have made silly, funny, foolish, or otherwise intriguing video posts for social media that have gone viral to facilitate financial success? Add it all up, and you have a generation that does not value hard work. At least, we don’t value it as much as previous generations, dating back to World War II or the Great Depression where absolutely nothing, including basic necessities in life came easily.
Remember the Ant
Note that I did not say that this entire generation is lazy. That would be silly and mendacious of me, especially since Solomon lived thousands of years ago. There’s plenty of correction for laziness to go around. I digress.
The wise man is saying this to all lazy folks, and those who seek success from a microwave. Poverty will come like an armed robber and steal their potential, intelligence, dreams, success, and financial freedom. With no bosses looking over their shoulders, no job they are fearful of losing, no micromanagers to tell them what their next thoughts and moves must be, this is the perfect storm.
Certain types of ant store away food during times of plenty so they will never need to worry about lack. These incredible ants work together until their goal is accomplished. How much more should intelligent human beings with such big brains, and who were created in the image of God apply wisdom and strong effort to insure against laziness and lack? Go to the ant observe its ways! You just might learn something.
A word to the foolish is wasteful. A word to the wise is sufficient.