Because of His immense ingenuity and genius, God created the physical world so it could be readily used to illustrate the spiritual. Thus, “a sower went forth to sow” (Matthew 13:3), “the devil walks about like a roaring lion” (1 Peter 5:8), “consider the lilies of the field” (Matthew 6:28), and a host of other powerful illustrations can be found in Scripture.
In Proverbs 6, Solomon addresses the lazy and exhorts them with these words: “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—so shall your poverty come on you like a prowler and your need like an armed man” (vv. 6-11).
Note briefly the invaluable lessons these tiny creatures have been designed by God to teach:
- Intrinsic motivation. The ant is the epitome of a self-starter. Without a team captain, an overseer, a foreman, or a boss-man each ant does its work diligently and vigorously.
- Wise discrimination. Ants collect food—a useful and practical commodity. Ants do not collect frivolous, trivial things.
- Sense of urgency. The summer with its harvest time is not frittered or slept away. Ants are early risers and are close to having a full day’s work in by the time a sluggard has finally commenced to begin to start to get ready to go to work.
- Preparation. Because of his determined diligence and industriousness, the ant has ample provisions in the winter. The sluggard does not. The folly and shame of a lack of preparation is the crowning achievement of the sluggard and his laziness.
How ant-like are you?