Vol. 7, No. 6
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Proverbs 30:24 tells us that there are four things on the earth that are little, but exceedingly wise. Verses 25-28 list their identities as ants, conies, locusts and spiders. God sees these lowly critters as wise, so we have something to learn from each one of them. Let us look at the lives of these little, wise creatures to see how we can also be wise.
The first of the wise mentioned here are ants. Verse 25 says they are not strong, but prepare meat in the summer. The only other mention of ants in the Bible is found in Proverbs 6:6-8. There, the passage tells us to consider the ways of the ant to gain wisdom. The text goes on to say that the ant gathers food in the harvest. Ants are hard working creatures because they gather enough food during the harvest to last the winter. The ants' wisdom is hard work and forethought.
We too should be hard working. "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10). In addition, Ephesians 4:28 tells us to work with our hands so we can give to those in need. We are to work with our own two hands so we can make a living for ourselves and aid others when they are in need.
We should also be hard working for Christ. "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). The words go and preach are action verbs, thus requiring action. Not everyone is apt to be a teacher or preacher, but we all have ability. In Mark 14:6 Christ says that Mary did a good work just by washing his feet. Furthermore, in verse eight, Christ said she had done what she could. Mary showed her faith by her actions for, "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone" (James 2:17). Although varied, our abilities are given to us by God (1 Peter 4:11). Luke 12:48 says that much will be required from those who were given much. It can be concluded that not as much will be required from those not given as much ability. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). No matter what our abilities may be, our works show our faith and honor our God. We must all be like Mary and do what we can.
The ant shows forethought by its work. Thinking of the coming winter when food will be scarce, the ant gathers during the harvest. We, too, should give forethought to our future. We should not worry about our future, but rather put our trust in God (Matthew 6:25-34). Even though we trust God and acknowledge his control, we cannot neglect our responsibilities. We are still commanded to work.
More importantly, our forethought should be thinking as far ahead as heaven. We do not know when we will die or when Christ will come again. James 4:14 likens our lives to vapors, only here for a short time. Matthew 25:36 makes reference to the fact that only God the Father knows when our Savior will return. Therefore, we should make ready now. Matthew 6:33 says to seek God and his kingdom first. We are also told to keep our treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-20). Our most valued possession, our biggest treasure, are our souls. We should give our lives enough forethought to see to our souls' eligibility to enter heaven.
The text in Proverbs 6:6 tells us to "consider her ways." The way of the ant refers to the ant's life style, which is hardworking with forethought. To consider those ways is to inspect or study them. After such inspection, we see how wise this creature is. It would be to our advantage to copy the ways of the ant as well. Fill your life with hard work and forethought.
The next little things possessing much wisdom are conies (Proverbs 30:26). Conies are rock dwelling rabbits. They are only mentioned two other times in the Bible. Leviticus 11:5 marks them as unclean animals under the Old Law. Psalms 104:18 simply states that they take refuge in the rocks. Going back to Proverbs 30:26, we also learn that conies are feeble creatures.
The conies are considered wise because they take refuge in the rocks. A refuge is a safe place. The conies use the rocks as a fortress to protect themselves from predators. The rocks give these feeble animals strength and utilizing that strength is their wisdom.
We, being feeble creatures, must also be weary of predators. In 1 Peter 5:8 Satan is likened to a roaring lion searching for someone to devour. That text also identifies him as our enemy. We must be watching for our enemy's advances. Matthew 26:41 says to watch and pray so not to enter into temptation. If we resist the devil, he will flee from us (James 4:7).
We, being feeble, need the strength of the Rock to protect us from Satan. Christ is that Rock (1 Corinthians 10:4). Christ is also referred to as a Corner Stone (Ephesians 2:20), the base for which all other stones are laid. Jesus likens those that follow him to a man that builds his house on a rock foundation. Those that do not follow are likened to a man building his house on sand. The solid rock foundation supports the house as Christ supports us. The other house, however, collapses onto the sand when the storm of temptation comes (Matthew 7:24-27). If we build our lives on and take refuge in Christ, the solid Rock and Foundation, we will stand strong when the storms of temptation come. We will still, however, face temptations and have the choice to fall or to stand firm. Christ is our Rock, our Foundation, our Refuge and our Strength.
Returning to Proverbs 30, locusts are identified as small, but wise creatures in verse 27. Here, they are said to have no leader, but organized enough to travel in bands or groups. We read of locusts in several other passages like Exodus 10:12-15 where God sent locusts to Egypt, eating every green thing. Locusts travel in bands and consume everything.
To be wise like locusts, we should be banded. We have the opportunity for fellowship with other Christians, Jesus and God. Acts 2:42-47 describes the fellowship that the first century church enjoyed. There we find that the early church continued in fellowship, were gathered together and had singleness of heart. The Christians were banded together as we should be banded. We are also commanded to weep and to rejoice with our brethren as well as being likeminded (Romans 12:15-16). We enjoy fellowship with God and Christ as well. "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:20). "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ" (1 John 1:3).
As mentioned above, locusts consume. We too should be great consumers--not consuming to fill our physical bodies, but our spiritual bodies. First Peter 2:2 commands us to desire the sincere milk of the Word in order to grow. Take 2 Timothy 2:15 into consideration as well, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Consider John 6:35, "I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." Christ is our spiritual food. Colossians 3:16 says to let the Word of Christ dwell in us. The only way for his words to dwell in us is to ingest them by means of study. In Matthew 5:6, Jesus tells us that those hungering and thirsting for righteousness will be filled. We are to consume and fill up on the Word of God. The first step is to hunger after that Word.
We now come to the fourth little, wise thing. Proverbs 30:28 says, "The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces." Spiders spin their webs, their homes, in the corners of houses, buildings and even palaces. Not many people want spiders in their homes, so they destroy the webs. However, the spiders, never discouraged, just rebuild. Most of the time, they even rebuild in the same location. Spiders build their homes with their own hands as often as they are destroyed and never get discouraged.
We should have the commitment and devotion to our Lord as the spider to her web. Matthew 22:37-38 is Christ's answer to the question of which is the greatest commandment, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment." Our love for our Lord should come first. He is our priority in life. The purpose of our lives is to serve Him. "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man" (Ecclesiastes 12:13). When something is whole, it is complete. Our duty is our responsibility. Our complete responsibility is to serve God.
Just like the spider being in kings' palaces, we need to be in God's palace. "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:2-3). In God's palace, heaven, many mansions await the faithful. They were prepared for the faithful. When Christ comes again, we must be ready to occupy those mansions and make our homes in God's palace.
We cannot enter into God's palace until judgment, but we can live in his kingdom while on earth. In John 14:4, Christ told the apostles that they knew the way to the mansions. Verse six tells us, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Christ is the way, the only way. He gave us access to eternal life through his blood. We are baptized into that blood, thus adding us to the church (Acts 2:38-47). The closest we can be to God is to be in his kingdom. Christ is the way to that kingdom. The kingdom is the church and the church leads us to heaven.
God considers four of the wisest creatures on earth to be ants, conies, locusts and spiders. For God to consider us as wise, we must mimic these creatures. Be like the ant. Show forethought for your soul and work hard for God. Be like the conies. Take refuge in Christ and use him for your foundation. Be like the locusts. Have active fellowship with other Christians, God and Christ. Consume the Word of God to let it dwell in you. Be like the spiders. Have commitment and devotion to our Lord and build your house in his palace. Allow yourself to be wise. Mimic the lifestyle of these lowly creatures.