Lesson from the Ants (Proverbs 30:25)

This is continuation of Lessons from the Insects/Animals Kingdom (Proverbs 30:24 – 28)

The Ants – Proverbs 30:25 “The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food (meat) in the summer.” Ants speak of “the wisdom of preparation.” The Hebrew word for “Ants” (nemalah) means “to crowd together,” the root word means “to eat.”

A People

Ants are called “a people,” which is an interesting insight, as Ants live in a community, and have authorities which they obey, and their actions are regulated by certain definite laws.

Plan the Future

Ants teach us the lesson of the important of preparation. “Plan ahead” is what we learn from the Ants who overcome their lack of physical strength by starting their “food” preparation in the summer and setting aside enough to carry them through the winter. 

Wisdom at Work

Ants, as insects (“a people”) are not strong (Proverbs 30:25a), as the Ants could be easily crushed; indeed, so weak, that thousands are crushed by one tread of the foot. Proverbs provides us the understanding and assurance that there is nothing wrong of not being strong, provided we are aware of the fact, and of finding solutions to our problems, by our abilities of foresight, followed by preparation, and thus, as wisdom taught by Ants – “Yet the Ants prepared their meat in summer” (Proverbs 30:25). Ants have the uncanny abilities to respond to different/changing situations; for example, Ants, in the cold countries, collect and fill their nests with straws, husks, not as stores to be consumed in the winter, but for warmth and comfort. What can we learn from the Ants?? – Ants have contingency plan to meet their needs before the problems occur.

The question is how can, Ants, such small insects, have such insight/foresight and abilities?? – God in His Sovereignty has given different abilities, to different insects/animals, the abilities of survival – thus, we humans can draw understanding and wisdom from our Creator (God) and His Creation, through seeking, observing, being aware and preparation. God gives the Ants the foresight – planning and hard work, to get ready for the tomorrows!  

Organisation & Unity

Ants displayed the ability to carry huge loads above their size/weight; also, Ants’ ability to find food is uncanny.  Yet how wise they are in preparing their food in the summer for the winter.  Ants know that winter is coming, and they are willing, in summer, to prepare their stores of food for the time of scarcity. They do not only wish for food, but they work diligently to accomplish their goal of collecting and storing food. Thus, Ants demonstrate organisation and unity in function and purpose:

  • Ants laid up vast stores of provisions in their nests.
  • To facilitate this act of Providence, Ants placed their nests as near as possible to the food sources.
  • Ants certainly feed on the gathered provisions during the winter season.
  • Ants encouraged certain insects which secrete sweet juices to consort with them, and collect and store their eggs with their own, that Ants may have them at hand for future use when the eggs are hatched.

The Mind

Ants, are in some respects, the most wonderful insect in the world; for it seems to be about equal in intelligence to the elephant, which is not only the greatest, but also the most intelligent of the larger animals. The bull, so immensely greater than an Ant in body, is far small in mind.

The Application

  • Ants provided its food in the summer and gathered its food in the harvest. When the food gathered by the Ants become damp, they bring it out into the sun and dry it.
  • Ants have “no guide, overseer, or ruler,” and yet no one can watch this insect without seeing that they are “exceeding wise,” each Ant finds what his particular work is, and diligently does it – a profitable lesson for the Saints of God to learn. Tiny in frame, yet full of Providence, making wise provision against the winter.

Foresight & Preparation

The person who does not look forward and prepare for the day and the hour when some special demand will be made upon him, will surely go down. A wise provision made in the time of leisure or abundance is essential to outward and visible success. We must “buy up the opportunity (redeem the time – Colossians 4:5b); otherwise, when the occasion comes, we shall not be equal to the occasion.” 

Patience

Ants, toil for the future. Herein is strength. Men who care only for the passing moment are shallow and weak. We are strong in proportion as we live in the future.

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