"Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise: Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer; coneys are creatures of little power, yet they make their home in the crags; locusts have no king, yet they advance together in ranks; a lizard can be caught with the hand, yet it is found in kings' palaces."1
The ants teach us the wisdom of preparation. "Better to be prepared and not called, than to be called and not prepared," is a wise principle to adhere to. For instance, if I want a good job in the future, I need to prepare today. If I want a healthy marriage, I need to work on my growth and maturity today, for only mature people have mature relationships. And if I want God to use me, I need to develop the gifts and talents he has given me.
"Aha!" you may say, "but what about the disciples. They were a motley crew of uneducated peasants." "But, aha," I answer, "they spent three years in training with the Master Teacher of all teachers and the Master Trainer par excellence." As an old Chinese proverb says, "Dig your well before you're thirsty."
The coneys or rock badgers teach us the wisdom of precaution. How true is the old saying, "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread." If you want to avoid temptation, don't go where you know you'll be tempted. If you don't want to get into debt over your head, don't borrow what you can't pay. And if you can't swim, don't go into the deep end of the pool. God is faithful, but if we jump off a building, he won't catch us on the way down, as he doesn't go against his own rules! He won't change the universal law of gravity because of my foolishness and irresponsibility. He won't change the moral law either. If I try to break it, it will break me.
The locusts teach us the wisdom of unity. Have you ever tried to row a boat with a friend? If you don't pull together in harmony, you'll get nowhere fast, go in circles, or run into the bank. To keep moving forward, you don't have to over-exert yourself, just keep pulling together. And if we don't pull together as a family, a church, or a nation, working in harmony with the principles of life as found in God's Word, we will end up on the rocks!
The lizards teach us the wisdom of perseverance. "If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done ... Keep on sowing your seed, for you never know which will grow—perhaps it all will,"2 says the Word of God. And again, "It is God himself, in his mercy, who has given us this wonderful work [of telling his Good News to others], and so we never give up."3 As the saying goes, "Quitters never win and winners never quit."
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for your words of wisdom—principles for everyday living—as found in the Bible. Please give me a greater love for Your Word and the desire to live by the principles as found therein. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Proverbs 30:24-28 (NIV).
2. Ecclesiastes 11:4, 6 (TLB-NIV).
3. 2 Corinthians 4:1 (TLB-NIV).
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