Tag: Characters

Bitterness (Ephesians 4:31-32) (Part 2)

Development

Bitterness accumulates with time. It does not go away but become worse; people do not get less bitter with age or maturity. The person gets more bitter over the years. It gets worse and worse. Bitterness begins with:

  • Hurt – A person who is easily hurt is more likely to get bitter.
  • Resentment – Hurt if not dealt with, will lead to resentment. There is a close relationship between hurt feelings and resentment.
  • Bitterness – Resentment, if not dealt with, will lead to bitterness. Bitterness is resentment held too long. It has become rancid and rotten. If bitterness is kept in, it gets worse.
  • Hatred – Bitterness if not dealt with and kept too long will lead to hatred. There is a clear biblical identification between hatred and murder (1John 3:15).

God’s Warning

Hebrews 12:15 (NKJV) “Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.” God’s Word describes bitterness as:

  • Fall short of God’s Grace – This is God’s warning of the possibility of falling short from God’s Grace. To fall short of God’s Grace is to fall on the ground of the Law. God deals with Individual either on ground of (1) Law, or (2) Grace. We cannot be on both grounds (Law & Grace) at the same time. After experiencing God’s Grace, it is unthinkable to fall short of God’s Grace.
  • Root of bitterness – Root of bitterness is the very essence of bitterness – root is something that is underground and cannot be seen. But there can be visible evidence of its presence, as when it surfaces. The fruit that is brought forth bears a direct relation to the root producing it, it bears bitter fruit.
  • Trouble –Bitterness generally never destroys the person who has done the wrong, bitterness destroys the person who is bitter, even if the offended person is innocent. Bitterness causes trouble, physical (sickness, lost of sleep), emotional (unstable, mental breakdown) and ultimately spiritual (backslidden, not in harmony with God and men).
  • Defile – The tragedy is that the “root of bitterness” not only troubles the person involved but it also defiles the people around the bitter person, “the “many” become defiled by its fruit (bitterness). We have seen bitterness goes through the home, church, office and work place.

Every person, without exception, will pass through bitter experience, but the Individual should not allow the bitter experience into his spirit, if there is the spiritual exercise before God concerning this experience. Bitterness will either bring about a broken and contrite spirit (Isaiah 66:2; Isaiah 57:15; Psalm 34:18; Psalm 51:17), or else it brings a root of bitterness in the spirit. We must watch against these roots, subterraneous roots, from taking root in our spirit.

Demonic Wisdom

James 3:14-15 (NIV) “But if you harbour bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from heaven but is earthly, un-spiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice” (James 3:14-15). If an Individual harbours bitterness, evil practice will result. It does not come from heaven. It is straight from the pit of hell and is demonic, – as it is, it is a real problem!

Grieves the Holy Spirit

Bitterness grieves the Holy Spirit – Ephesians 4:30-31 (NKJV) “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

Solution

In order to get rid of bitterness the person must:

  • Acknowledges – The person needs to recognise that he has bitterness in his heart and bring it to the surface. The temptation is to look at the Offender and what was done. That is the nature of bitterness. In order to get rid of it, the person needs to recognise that it is his problem before he can forgive, confess and forsake it.
  • Recognises – That bitterness does not please God and result in self-harm. Again, the reason the person does not deal with his bitterness is that he thinks it is the other persons who is wrong, and needs to apologise, which may be true, but it does not help. Only forgiveness of the offend and the person is the answer.
  • Confession & Forgiveness – The person who is bitter must not keep sharing it. The only thing that gets rid of bitterness is to forgive and plea the Blood of Jesus for cleansing and covering; acknowledging that he has experienced God’s Forgiveness through the Finished Work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Resist Self-Justification – In our talk with God (prayer), the person should resist giving excuses for being bitter, i.e. reminding God that the person who offended him is at fault and that he has the right to be bitter. The person has to get his eyes of the other person’s fault and focus on releasing the bitterness to God and the healing from God.

Amy Carmichael has a note in her little book: “For a cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, however suddenly jolted. If it is full of sweet water and is jolted, what will come out of the cup? Sweet water. If you gave it a harder jolt, what’s going to happen? More sweet water.”  If someone is filled with sweet personality and someone else gives him a jolt, what will come out? Sweet Attitude. Jolts do not turn sweet personality into bitter personality. That is done by something else.

Bitterness in the Congregation is a major hindrance to Revival. When Christians start to forgive and confess their sins, they will be able to receive forgiveness from God and a personal victory over the work of the flesh and the enemy.

Bitterness (Ephesians 4:31-32) (Part 1)

Scripture

Ephesians 4:31-32“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Question

“Is it possible to be kind, compassionate, tender-hearted and yet bitter at the same time?” All these are Attitudes. It is not possible to be tender-hearted and yet bitter.  Paul says to get rid of all bitterness and to be kind and compassionate one to another. Bitterness cannot co-exist with tender-heartedness.

God’s Word

God’s Word commanded us to get rid of all bitterness. Many people “enjoyed” holding things against other people, but God’s Word requires us to let go of all bitterness and maintain a tender heart.  There are many people who:

  • Not only are bitter.
  • They enjoy being bitter.
  • They somehow like it.
  • They feed on it.

A bitter person would not know what to do if he gets rid of bitterness; he would not have a purpose for his life. We know of people like that in the world, and we know people like that in the Church. It is easy to recognize when somebody is bitter

  • His eyes and the lines of the face reveal it. It can be seen in his face even when he is smiling and laughing.
  • The tone of his voice reveals it. You can hear it when he protests that he is not bitter.
  • The bitterness is central and pervades everything, his personality, speech, body language and his physical appearance.

It is relatively easy to detect when a person is bitter. But it is not so easy to see it in ourselves. It is therefore important to have a good understanding of what cause bitterness and the results that bitterness produce.

Definition

Bitterness is what a person feels when offended, whether real or imagined, against him. The very definition of bitterness points to the action of another. Bitterness is based on the offence or situation that relates to someone close to us.  It is not concerned with how big the offence is; it is based upon how close the person is. Bitterness is related to those people who are close, for example: fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, children, relatives – grandparents, uncles, mothers-in-law, fathers–in-law, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, boyfriends, girlfriends, roommates, close friends, business partners, church leaders. There are also people who are bitter against God (Naomi – Ruth 1:13b, 20-21; Jonah).We get offended but not bitter against people who are outside our immediate contact. Bitterness is based upon somebody’s offence who is close to us and who did something to us. It might be minor. It does not have to be great, it just has to be close.

Remember Details

One of good rule of thumb is this: “Bitterness remembers details.”

  • Accumulates – The offence may occur 5 years ago, but the person who is offended and is bitter remembers every word and detail of the offence. Bitterness accumulates.
  • Review – How can a person remembers every detail of the happening – his memory is helped by review, review and more review of the offence. He mulls over the hurts. A person normally goes over the thing that hurt him.
  • Right and Wrong – The person will concentrate on “how right” he is and “how wrong” the other person who hurts him was. Look what he did to me!

Imaginary Offence – Many times a person can be bitter toward another person for what he said, when in reality he misunderstood of what was said, or has not been said. Many bitter people cannot imagine the possibility that they are bitter over imaginary offences. As far as bitterness is concerned, the other person’s offence is always real. Genuine Offence – There are many bitter people who really were mistreated by the Offender.

To be continued….. Stay Tuned……

Lesson from Lizard (Proverbs 30:28)

The Lizard

Proverbs 30:28 “The lizard taketh hold with her hands, and as in kings’ palaces.” The KJV & NKJV describes the insect as “Spider,” whereas the NIV describes the creature as Lizard. The insect’s or the animal’s identity is not clear, and thus, for this write-out, we will apply the description to that of the Lizard, instead of Spider.

Lizard’s Limitation

Lizard is defenceless except for its speed. The defenceless characteristic is also descriptive of: “Ants, Coney (Badger) and Locust.” Lizard, is not appealing in appearance and not desirable of many people to take-hold-off, and seem to be a pest to most people – these characteristics would have cause many people to be discouraged, but not the Lizard – where does the Lizard turn up….King’s Palace! (Proverbs 30:28). Lizard is found in the King’s Palace, not by invitation, but persistent and ever persevering!

Wisdom in Action

Lizard speaks of the “Victory of Perseverance,” that compensate for the defencelessness that the Lizard possesses. Despised the Lizard may be, but it is full of wonders. Consider the ingenuity, delicacy, and adaptation of its work; it is truly marvellous. Despite its ease of capture, this animal uses its climbing ability to go everywhere, even on the walls of the King’s Palace. Lizard surefooted tenacity and sneaky persistence testify to the veracity (truth) of this Proverb. Lizard gets into the best place and holds on. 

So humble, yet so busy, that it finds room even in King’s Palace. Lizard is found in King’s Palace because it can stick to the walls, and so run into unlooked-for-places out of the way of men. It is a great thing to be able to hold on. Quiet perseverance wins many a victory. Patient endurance is crowned in the end with glorious success. In the highest things: “He that endures unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Mark 13:13). Lizard demonstrates the success of persistency.

Lessons to be Learned  

For the unwelcome Lizard to establish itself in King’s Palace, there is demanded of this twofold virtue. And for our success, we need this also – ambition to attempt and assiduity (assess critically) to find a way, in spite of all the obstacles that we may encounter. The discouraged and faint-hearted will not success – for the Bible exhorts us: “Faint No!” – Hebrews 12:1-3 “Therefore, we also, since we ae surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith,……lest we become weary and discouraged in our souls.”

History has shown that even people with limited talents have been known to accomplish great success/discovery far more than those with great talents and abilities, for he that has no heart for enterprise will certainly achieve nothing; and he who lacks patience to wait his time, perseverance to renew his efforts as often as he is foiled, or as often as one success opens the way to another, will reach no King’s Palace, no place of honour or of influence. The Lizard teaches us this precious lesson of wisdom of: “Victory of Perseverance.”

Word of Exhortation

We have spent time together, studying and learning from these four insects/animals: Ants, Coneys (Badgers), Locusts and Lizards, and I hope that these insects/animals (Ants, Coneys {Badgers}, Locusts, and Lizards) have provided us with valuable lessons of life:

  • The Ants taught us of: “Wisdom of Preparation.”
  • The Coneys (Badgers) taught us of: “Necessity of Precaution – Three Basics of Survival.”
  • The Locusts taught us of: “Unity and Power.”
  • The Lizards taught us of: “Victory of Perseverance.”  

All the four mentions insects/animals in Proverbs 30:25-28, are small in sizes and weak in bodies, nevertheless, all are wise enough to find a compensating quality (wisdom) to make them reach their goals.

Lesson from the Locusts (Proverb 30:27)

The Locusts

Proverbs 30:27 “The locusts have no king yet go they forth all of them by bands.” The Locusts speak of “the Mystery of Unity and Power.” The Locusts lack leadership collectively, yet they march in rank. What an amazing exception they are! It is not their work of ruin, but the wisdom of system by which they do it, that is commended in Proverbs 30:27. They have no leader and lack strength, individually, yet work in amazing unity. Locusts demonstrate the Mystery of Unity and Power.

Work of Locusts

The Locusts are known for the immense numbers that suddenly swarm upon a district, and for the vast devastation they accomplish in vegetation in a little while. “Vast bodies of migrating Locusts, called by the oriental the Armies of God,” lay waste the country. The Locusts observed as regular order, when they march, as an army. At evening they descend from their flight, and form, as it were, their camps. In the morning, when the sun has risen considerably, they ascend again, if they do not find food, and fly in the direction of the wind – Proverbs 30:27 “The locusts have no king yet go they forth all of them by bands.

  • The Locusts go in immense numbers – Jeremiah 46:23 “They shall cut down her forest, says the LORD, ‘Though it cannot be searched, because they are innumerable and more numerous than grasshoppers.”
  • Occupy a space of ten or twelve miles in length, and four and five in breadth, and are so deep that the sun cannot penetrate through them; so that they convert the day into night and bring a temporary darkness on the land – Exodus 10:15 “For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they ate every herb of the land and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left. So there remained nothing green on the trees or on the plants of the field throughout all the land of Egypt.”
  • The sound of the wings is terrible, when the Locusts descend upon the earth, they cover a vast track a foot and half high; if the air is cold and moist or if they be wet with the dew, they remain….till they are dried and warmed by the sun – Nahum 3:17 “Your commanders are like swarming locusts, and your generals are like great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges on a cold day; when the sun rises they flee away, and the place where they are I not known.”  
  • Nothing stops them. They fill the ditches which are dug to stop them with their bodies, and extinguish by their numbers the fires, which are kindled. They pass over walls and enter the doors and windows of houses (Joel 2:7-9).
  • The Locusts devour everything which is green, strip off the bark of trees, and even break them to pieces by their weight (Exodus 10:12-19).

Wisdom in Action

Though the Locusts have no king, yet they are able to make successful marches over miles of country, and to completely devastate the lands they visited. It is an accepted principle, in life/management, that a Leaderless Group is a weak Group. Yet in the Locusts, is an example, or an exception to the rule of life/management; here the Locusts, doing well and survive but has no leadership in command. What is the secret of the Locusts’ success and survival?? How can we see “Wisdom,” in action? – Locusts’ limitations have been overcome by their wisdom:

  • The Locusts compensate for the lack of the leadership, by means of band together for a common purpose/strength – stripping the land of its vegetation!
  • Locusts do not waste their time by flying hither and thither, and by opposing one another. Locusts all move on in solid phalanx (group). Each Locust subordinates his individuality to the Group; this is illustrated, when the Locusts come to a small stream, they will move into the stream in such numbers that the Locusts created a causeway of bodies, that can be used by other Locusts. This instinctive order secures success. Thus, the Locusts success is insured by the strength of the total organization, build-up by the strength of the individual insect!

Locust a creature, as an individual, easily crushed, yet gaining immense force by union with others. Joel gives a splendid description of the raid of locusts under the figure of the invading army, with which the accounts of travellers in tropical lands may be closely compared (Joel 1:4). It is an essential part of personal equipment that a man be able to cooperate with others. And in the great majority of cases this means readiness to fall in with the suggestions of other people, to forego our own preference and adopt another person’s advice. It means listening and learning, conciliation and concession, punctuality, and politeness.

Lessons to be Learned

It teaches us that the welfare of the Individual must be subordinates to that of the Community. This speaks of the banding of the Members of the Body of Christ, for common good – this is the strength that comes from unity/diversity, in the Body of Christ:

Psalm 133:1-3 “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like a precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of the garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the LORD commanded the blessing – life forevermore.”

Ephesians 4:16 “From whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”

For the Lord Jesus Christ and His Kingdom, the Individual Member of the Body of Christ is in subordination of the Individual’s will to the whole Plan and Purpose of Christ and His Kingdom. It is the finding and functioning, with the calling and gifting, in our place in the Body of Christ (Romans 12:1-8; Romans 11:29; 1Corinthians 12:8-10; 1Corinthians chapters 13 & 14). It is the recognition and functioning in unity and diversity of the Members of the Body of Christ that makes it possible for spiritual growth and development. The order and subjection to each other that the Body of Christ grows and prospers.

Lesson from Coneys (Badgers) (Proverbs 30:26)

The Coney (Syrian Hyrax)

Proverbs 30:26 “The Coneys (Badgers) are but a feeble folk, yet make they houses in the rocks.” Coney refers to the Syrian Hyrax, a small mammal with short legs, ears, and tail and reddish-brown fur. The animal has large front and heavy teeth, broad nails on their feet, which are also padded, great for movements on the rocky surfaces. One of the Hebrew words “shaphan” is best identified as the “Rock-Badger,” is abound in the Kedron area, as well as near the Dead Sea Hills.

Safety First

Coney (Badger) speaks of the “necessity of precaution.” Coney (Badger) lived in companies in the cleft of the rocks. Coney (Badger) has three basics abilities for survival:

  • Coney (Badger) first ability is to understand its limitation in its size and strength and the protective cleft of the impregnable rock. Thus, Coney (Badger) first step is not to get too far removed from “the protective-home,” of the rock, that it knows so well.
  • The other characteristic of Coney (Badger) is that the animal has “posted-look-out,” and thus, is hard to be captured. This speaks of the ability to read the “situation,” with precaution, taken!
  • The third important safeguard of Coney (Badger) is to move, the moment its sense danger, and not to wait to test the situation with foolishness.

Wisdom at Work

Coney (Badger) is “but a feeble folk” (Proverbs 30:6a), such a profound description of its problem; but Coney (Badger) shows its wisdom by seeking security among the impregnable rocks. Coney (Badger) though not strong, makes wise choice, by living in rocky crags where it can hole up to escape animals of prey or human hunters – Psalm 104:18 “The high hills are for the wild goats; the cliffs are a refuge for the rock badgers (coneys).” – Because Coney (Badger) is hunted, it needs a refuge.

Also, Coney (Badger) has the “in-built instinct” of able to move cautiously, with calculated ability, to move from place to place, but never getting itself too far from “protective-home,” to become victim of a larger and stronger predator/hunter. Coney’s (Badger’s) Wisdom is understanding of its limitations, taking practical action to address the issue, or else its time of learning becomes the end of the learning process.

The tenant (Coney or Badger) may be weak, but the house is strong. This is a demonstration of “the necessity of precaution.” What Coney (Badger) lack of size and strength it makes up for, with wisdom!!

Though feeble, finds compensation in the strength of the dwelling it selects. To be able to run to the rocks or fastnesses is necessary for the feeble. And in the ordering of our lives, it is necessary to count on our being sometimes defeated. He is but a poor captain who conducts his campaign without “securing the base;” and he does not know the practical wisdom of life who does not provide for himself a retreat, a reserve, when fortune goes against him, as it sometimes will in, “the battle of life.”

Lessons to be Learned

The lessons that we can learn from Coney (Badger), is that we have to be wise if we are not strong, in the threefold approach/strategy:

  • First, our ability to understand our size and limitation, as the Coney (Badger), and setting in place, contingency plans, to address our size and weaknesses, as not to be caught flat-footed, in situations, as shown in the wisdom of the Coney (Badger). – Proverbs 3:5-7 “Trust the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil.”
  • Second, the other use of wisdom is to keep sentries on guard, at all times, so the enemy is not able to catch us by surprise – 1Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your Adversary the Devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” This speaks of our ability to read the “situation,” with precaution, taken!
  • Third, knowing what we can do best, in difficult/trying situation – we have contingency plan, in reserve – this is wisdom!! Although the Coney has not the compensating intelligence of the ant. But their instinct leads them to live among the rocks and hide themselves in the dark caves and inaccessible crevices. Thus, the strength of the hills is their protection. When there is no hope of holding our ground in the open field, we may find shelter in the Rock of Ages, our Lord Jesus Christ! – Psalm 62:6-8 “He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.” 

The lessons of the Coney (Badger) are small but smart; defenseless due to the size and strength, but great and strong in wisdom! How about us!

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.

Lessons from the Insects/Animals Kingdom (Proverbs 30:24 – 28)

The Lessons – Proverbs 30:24-28 “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 lizard skilfully grasps with its hands, and it is in kings’ palaces.

Proverbs 30:24-28 teach about four weak things (Ants, Coneys {Badgers}, Locusts, and Lizards), and the greatness of each. At the first glance, no one would anticipate great accomplishments from these four little Creatures (Ants, Badgers {Coneys}, Locusts & Lizards), but each illustration from nature contains an importance lesson, to amplify the theme that size does not count nearly as much as wisdom. Each of the creature portrays a different aspect of wisdom in action.

The lesson to be learned from “the wisdom,” of these four creatures (Ants, Badgers {Coneys}, Locusts and Lizards) is that wisdom is defined by the ability to recognise one’s problems and limitations and then set about to compensate for the problems and limitations. The Ants, the Coneys {Badgers}, the Locusts, and the Lizards all have certain limitations, but in each case, each of this creature sets about overcoming its problem/limitation with its solution

The four creatures that are mentioned all illustrate the wonderful way in which the disadvantages of weakness may be overcome by some countervailing quality. These four creatures who, in spite of their size, are possessed of attributes that serve as a source of instruction for us.

The Word of God teaches that “the weak things of the world confounding the things which are mighty” (1Corinthians 1:27). Now we have illustrations from nature for the same principle. Each one of the four creatures teaches us its own special lesson, as each conquers its weakness by same separate and distinctive quality:

  • The Ants – Wisdom of Preparation by Foresight. The ant models the advisability of carefully planning ahead to meet future contingencies. Ant teaches us about preparation.
  • The Coneys (Badgers) – the Necessity of Protection – Three Basics of Survival. Hebrew (shapan) means “hider” The animal is named for its habit of living in the cleft of rocks. The resourcefulness that gains for him a high degree of security. The Coney (Badger) teaches us about wise building.
  • The Locusts – Unity & Power by organisation. It models organisation and discipline. The locust realises it cannot stand alone but needs to gather together with others for self-preservation. The locust teaches us about cooperation and order.
  • The Lizards – Victory of Perseverance by Quiet Persistency, by trying again and again to reach it goal. It models the use of resource beyond one’s own to enhance one’s security and enjoyment of life. The Lizard is about fearlessness.

In an age where brilliant thinking and high technology are admired, it is good to hear again the importance of basic virtues like careful planning (Ant), wise choosing (Coney {Badger}), community loyalty (Locust), and dogged persistence (Lizard). The Bible says that wisdom is the chief thing: (a) Wisdom will generate finance; (b) Wisdom will gather friends; (c) Wisdom will build our home – Proverbs 16:16 says that wisdom is better than gold. Ecclesiastes 9:16 says that wisdom is better than strength.