Bible Lesson 146

A Study of the Ant (Proverbs 6:6)

“Go to the Ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise.”

It seems to me that most societies today are like a colony of ants, on a large log floating down the Mississippi River, each one thinking that they are driving. Brobob

Ants, one of the smallest of the animals created by God, are an important part of God’s Creation, so we should pay attention to them and see what God has for us in their actions. God inspired the writer of the Proverbs, to call our attention to this little creature; and perhaps now is a good time for us to obey the Lord, so let’s talk a little ant talk. The ant is an insect and I am inclined to think that perhaps the world that God forced Adam and Eve to occupy after their sin, was one in which not only was the ground cursed for their sake but that the ant and other insects were not also cursed for their sake.

It does seem that this little critter and other insects etc grow more of a challenge to man, as man increases in sin. You may ask, ?Why should we be talking about the ant in our Bible study’, and I will tell you why, because God created them and calls us to study them in Proverbs Chapter 6 and verses 6-11. Those verses tell us ?”Go to the ant, you sluggard!

Consider her ways and be wise, Which having no captain, overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer and gathers her food in the harvest. How long until you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep?.so shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, And your need like an armed man.”

In the language of our day, that says, ?Idler, go to the ant; ponder her ways and grow wise: no one gives her orders, no overseer, no master, yet all through the summer she gets her food ready, and gathers her supplies at harvest time. How long do you intend to lie there, idler? When are you going to rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little drowsiness, a little folding of the arms to lie back, and poverty comes like a vagrant and, like a beggar dearth.’ (NJB).

Solomon wrote under the inspiration of God in Proverbs, about wisdom and how God desires His people to live, and our scripture for this lesson deals with the practical means of providing for ourselves, our families and those in need. God knows people because He created them, and He knows that many have a propensity to want to relax and let the rough end drag to coin a phrase.

We all know that to be a fact and all we have to do to prove it to ourselves is to look around us. So God in His Sovereign mercy says to us, that we can gain some crucial knowledge and wisdom from the lowly ant. God says to us, wake up and study this little creature that will teach you a lesson about priority and wisdom and provision for ourselves and our families.

The ants do not spend the summer on the beach, or playing games, instead she operates in such a way that she makes hay while the sun shines or rather she harvest food in the summer and stores it in readiness for the cold of winter after the harvest. We may ask, is there a lesson for us in this verse of scripture?
I say without hesitation or equivocation, that we have great need for the exhortation that we find in Proverbs 6:6. We need it because many of us probably have never thought about the Proverbs, and when we do we don’t seem to get a message from it. Many or most of us do not study the Bible at all and over the years we have sat under cheap-grace preachers who have led us away from God’s will and His truths. We do not often form idols out of wood or stone, but we instead take the easy route and form our own little gods in our corrupt minds.

I am reminded of one of my favorite preachers and writers (outside God and His Word the Bible) and he is A.W. Pink and He had this to say before His death: “The “god” of the 20th century no more resembles the Supreme Sovereign of Holy Writ than does the dim flickering of a candle the glory of the midday sun. The “god” who is now talked about in the average pulpit, spoken of in the ordinary Sunday School, mentioned in much of the religious literature of the day, and preached in most of the so-called Bible conferences is the figment of human imagination, an invention of maudlin sentimentality. The heathen outside of the pale of Christendom form “gods” out of wood and stone, while the millions of heathen inside Christendom manufacture a “god” out of their own carnal mind.

In reality, they are but theists, for there is no other possible alternative between an absolutely Supreme God, and no God at all. A “god” whose will is resisted, whose designs are frustrated, whose purpose is checkmated, possesses no title to Deity, and so far from being a fit object of worship, merits naught but contempt. ?A. W. Pink (1886-1952).”

That may sound a little strong to those who have been taught tolerance of anything and everything including heresy; however if you check yourself by God’s Word, the Bible, you will be forced to agree. That is the reason that I say we need to get back to square one, begin at the beginning and ask God to teach us His Will and His Way. That will require that our minds be changed in order to know how to read the Bible. Most in our day know just enough about God and the Bible to be dangerous to themselves and anyone who will listen to them about God. We have followed after clever myths and just outright lies as we called ourselves Christians, knowing that all we could claim was church membership.

Once we understand that most professions of faith that have occurred over the past decades have been spurious professions that were formed and presented to gods who could not hear, see, speak or act, and the only thing that they could do was to satisfy that little nagging desire to appear acceptable to the World, in the World. Many who have been church-members for years have never really made one proper witness to a sinner. Most cannot witness to anyone because they don’t know the God of all peace and power. Can we wake up and look to the tiny ant to learn some lessons that will help us to at least be ethical people. How many men do you know who do not provide any support at all for their families?not even the support of being connected to the family as a provider? How many people do you know who cannot or will not hold down a job to provide for themselves and for others.

If you know anything at all about our Great God, you should know that He does not condone that kind of worker. He made us to work and He put Adam, the crown-jewel of his creation, to work tending and keeping the garden of Eden. (Genesis 2:15). God inspired the Apostle Paul to write and tell us that those who would not work, would not eat. (2nd Thessalonians 3:10). That may sound hard to some of you but that is from a loving God, and I believe that God said it to encourage everyone to pull their own weight. God did not say that those who could not work, for some good reason, should go without eating?just those who refuse to work, being able bodied. In the ant colonies, every ant is born knowing what his job in that colony involves. Of course there is the queen, who does nothing but lay eggs to keep the colony producing.

Then there are ants that are soldiers who protect the nest, and workers who are continually bringing things that they gather (leaves, bark, soil and whatever) back to the nest, and use it to build fungus factories to feed the colony. One of the smaller insects seem to have been given to us by God to help maintain a healthy bio stem. They aerate the soil, decompose waste, disperse seeds and other useful choirs. We normally consider them as pests and we have to keep them away from our homes but they are God’s creatures He has instilled in them the way that they work and cooperate even without any seeming supervision or leaders to lay out order. They do what they do and they do it until they die. Man on the other hand is a creature that thinks, and can plan and follow instructions and most men do that or at least do it in some fashion; however some never seem to catch that work ethic that is so necessary to a productive society.

Certainly we can, by following God’s exhortation to consider the little ant, learn something about how knowing and doing our job and doing that on a continual basis, could be helpful to our selves, our family and our country.

We can also learn that if we do our own work and not impede the progress of others who do their work that everything works out better. What can we learn from the tiny ant that would be applicable to the Church? First we can learn that most of our work is not in the nest (church) but out there in the world where we should be gathering for Christ instead of scattering (Matthew 12:30). Second, we can learn that ?out there’ in the world is a place of danger, where we will be hated by most that we bump into. Third, we can learn that we should not require someone to watch over us, to wake us up and tell us what we ought to be doing, we should be self starters who wake up with our job on our mind. The ant’s job is to gather and build the colony, ours is to be sold out to Jesus Christ and to work to contribute to His work of building the Church here on the earth.

Fourth, we should strive to have unity with others who have a like precious faith in Jesus Christ (2nd Peter 1:1). We can learn to work like the ant, who farms the planet without destroying it. We can learn from the ant who when the day calls for a bridge can bridge wide gaps with their bodies and let the others go across on their body bridge, and they have learned that in the event of a flood, if they stick together they float. Ants do not fight over who gets the credit for any act. When the ant finds a source of food, they emit an odor that draws all the other ants to where the food is. We should be so full of the knowledge and love for Christ that we smell like Him as we go into the world to witness the gospel (2nd Corinthians 2:15-17).

I heard a preacher one time who said as part of his testimony, that he was simply a beggar who had found some bread (bread of life), and it was his job and his desire to tell others where to find that bread. (John 6:35). So if we are thoughtful enough and desire to serve Christ in Spirit and Truth, we can learn much from the ant. To learn ethics from the ant, we have to do it by observation; however to learn from God about His Will and His Ways, we can only do that by study of His Word the Bible. The creation always gives us a beginning but the Inspired and inerrant Word of God, the Bible is the mine where we dig out all of the revelation of God that He will allow us on this earth.

If we remember that God works in mysterious ways, we can really see that by watching God’s creatures we can see the wonders and grace of our God. We have been looking at the ant and how we can learn from how they work and get along. The ant is not the only creature that God points us to, for instance, God speaks to us and says “the ox knows its owner and the donkey its master’s crib; but Israel does not know their God (Isaiah 1:3). The church all too often is guilty of knowing a lot of information but they do not really know the Savior of the world. We as God’s creatures have desired to lift up self and bring down God to our level, and we have completely missed the God who is all powerful and Gracious; but who is high above His creatures.

God uses often the types of Christians and they are referred to as the sheep of his pasture. I think that most of us know enough about sheep to understand that they are docile animals who are rather easily led. That’s what the true Christian does, it is that they follow their shepherd who is Christ. Our Shepherd (Jesus Christ), begins to speak to His sheep in the gospel of John and He warns about false prophets, false teachers and preachers who gain entrance by any means other than the door, who is Christ. Then Christ assures us that He is the door of the sheep and nobody will be saved by any other means. Christ then says “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow Me. (John 10:1, 7-9,27-30). Just as that little ant that we have been talking about, we follow Christ cheerfully and carefully.

The ant follows the same track that has been laid out by those who went before and we have the Word of God to show us the way we should go. The ant never gets into a snit and runs over to another ant hill to join. Only professing Christians (church members) do that sort of thing; however normally they go from one group that is lost to another group that is lost because the church per sec is so far from Christ that they couldn’t identify Him if they tripped over Him. The reason is that we have preachers anymore (not all but way too many) who have decided to preach smooth things to sinners who do not intend to obey God (Isaiah 30:9-11). God speaks to us through the prophet Isaiah and says to us that there are people who will always resist the Truths of God; and Isaiah says under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, ?..”This is a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not hear the law of the Lord; who say to the seers, Do not see, and to the prophets do not prophesy to us right things; speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits. Get out of the way, turn aside from the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.”

I can assure you that if many of the people who fill pulpits in America today were to begin to preach “Thus saith the Lord”, you would have people saying the same things today. That being as it may, what preachers had better do unless they want to spend eternity in hell is to begin to tell the truth about the Lord and begin to preach it, to cause people to repent of sin and come to the cross for forgiveness. The church would see the difference if the truth were to be preached because when God is invited into a congregation that is serious about God, He will like an eagle, stir up the nest. We find that in Deuteronomy 32:11 and verse 12a, where God speaks and says, “As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers over its young, spreading out its wings taking them up, carrying them on its wings, So the Lord alone led him.” This is a call for the church to shake itself awake and turn to the cross of Christ to receive forgiveness and really know, believe and follow Christ.

Until next time,

may God bless and keep you

This is Bro. Bob