Direct from David: 🐜 in my 👖?
I was backstage in our Green Room before service last Sunday and saw a small pile of dirt/dust along one of our outside walls. Worried it might be termites or something, I sought the input of our wise Facilities Director, Pat MacDonald. He looked it over and responded with the word – ANTS.
Have you noticed ANTS around your house or business yet? Evidently it is the season! Spring has brought about an invasion of ANTS. It seems like everywhere you turn there are ANTS.
My cousin-in-law, Dwayne Carson pastors a church in the Columbus, Ohio area. He wrote a blog awhile back about ANTS. Did you know ANTS are in the Bible?
Seeing ants reminds me that they are used twice in the Bible to teach ESSENTIAL life lessons! Both lessons come from Solomon and are found in the Book of Proverbs. Let’s look quickly at them.
First is Prov. 6 where we are told to check out the ways of an ANT and gain wisdom! Prov.6:6 “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise. Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep and poverty will come on you like a prowler, and your need like an armed man.”
The second time is found in Prov. 30 where Solomon is considering unusual small animals and seeing the wisdom that they have and it is beyond compare. Prov. 30:24 “There are four things which are little on the earth, But they are exceedingly wise. The ants are a people not strong, Yet they prepare their food in the summer; The rock badgers are a feeble folk, Yet they make their homes in the crags; The locusts have no king, Yet they all advance in ranks; The spider skillfully grasps with its hands, And it is in kings’ palaces.” (I once preached a sermon on this same text entitled ‘3 Bugs and a Bunny!’)
As we briefly consider the ant, I think it is apparent what exceedingly wise and valuable lessons the ants are giving us. From Prov. 6 Solomon directs his instruction to one who is a sluggard; someone one who is lazy, or a slacker or wasteful with time and opportunities. Solomon uses the ANT to rebuke a person who likes to lie around the house doing nothing or sleeps the day away. Solomon says look at that ant – they are self-starters. No one is yelling at them to get up and get going. They work. They go out and find food and they haul it on their backs back to the home. Work is not a dirty word.
Now many of you are probably looking forward to a vacation, and I in no way want to make you feel guilty for taking some time off. Leisure is not the problem – laziness is the problem.Rest and relaxation is not the problem. His desire is to motivate a sluggard to break a horrible lifestyle that will bring horrible consequences. Look at the ANTS.
The ANTS also teach us to value PREPARATION. In both passages we see the ANTS storing up food in the summer. The ants have an eye on the future. Wise people have daily activities that are preparing them for tomorrow. Proverbs 10:14 says, “Wise people store up knowledge.” Just as a farmer stores up hay and a family would do canning of vegetables, a wise person is storing up knowledge to be drawn on in the day of need.
Perhaps God has brought an ANT across your path right now to rebuke or prepare you? Has God brought an ANT into your life and as it is carrying its load, reminding you to be taking actions to grow today to be fruitful tomorrow?
Good words from Dwayne. This week, perhaps you need to thank God for the ANTS – perhaps even while spraying them! Even though they may drive you crazy, they are extremely wise and you may just want to learn from and live like them.
See you this Sunday. I won’t be mentioning ANTS, but I will be talking about the extreme value of living in community with friends. (Like the ANTS do.)
P.S. Thank you for the encouraging texts, words, and emails about my message last weekend. It was one of those difficult but important teachings of Jesus to give and apply…if we are to be Like Jesus. I am so blessed to be a pastor of a congregation that loves to hear the truth of the Bible and Jesus.