THE WISDOM OF THE ANT: PREPARED YET ALWAYS PREPARING

Four things on earth are small, but they are exceedingly wise: the ants are a people not strong, yet they provide their food in the summer; Proverbs 30:24–25

Solomon lists four little creatures: the ant, the hyrax (or the badger), the locust, and the lizard. Now, with the exception of the hyrax, which is indigenous to the Middle East, these are creatures you will find in your typical garden. And Solomon tells us that they each have their own unique brand of wisdom; there is something we can learn from them.

Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer.
Proverbs 30:25

 Ants are fascinating creatures. We tend to see them as a nuisance; you never hear anyone say, “Oh boy, we’ve got ants in the house.” And we usually just snuff them out without a second thought. I’m not recommending that you give ants free reign in your kitchen, but next time you see one, I encourage you to think of how brilliant this little creature is.

  • They can carry 50 times their body weight in their jaws.
  • They create colonies that can spread for thousands of miles.
  • There is entomological evidence that ants have used been farming techniques longer than humans.
  • If you were to take the total weight of all the humans on earth and the total weight of all the ants on earth, the ants would weigh more. There are 1.5 million ants for every human being on planet earth.

Solomon shows us that even the life of one seemingly insignificant ant can have meaning. Most people see ants as an source of irritation; Solomon sees them as a source of wisdom. What does he tell us about the ant? Let’s look at the verse again:

Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer.
Proverbs 30:25

This isn’t the only time that Solomon references the ant.
He gives the ant a similar shout-out in Proverbs 6.

 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.
 Proverbs 6:6-8

Solomon is saying that the ant is the master of preparation. It knows how to get ready. But knowing how to get ready is not really the wisdom part. Everyone knows how to get ready. What makes ants so wise is that they actually get ready. Ants take the necessary steps to be prepared for whatever might come their way later.

John Maxwell talks about this in his book Today Matters. He talks about the difference between a repairing and preparing.

  • When you’re repairing, you’re focused on cleaning up yesterday’s mess.
  • When you’re preparing you’re focused on getting ready for tomorrow’s blessings.
  • When you’re repairing you’re always paying yesterday’s bills.
  • When you’re preparing you’re financing tomorrow’s dreams.
  • When you’re repairing, you’re struggling to stay afloat.
  • When you’re preparing, you’re getting ready to set sail.

The only way to get out of the state of always repairing to the state of always preparing is to start preparing now, as much as you can, even while you scramble.
Are you repairing or preparing?

About scon777

Pastor/Teacher at Grace Bible Church in Redwood City, CA since 1998.
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