Learn from the ant

Johan Oscar Smith

“Go to the ant, you sluggard, consider her ways, and be wise.” Proverbs 6:6.

Be active

The ants build their anthill against a tree on the north and east side, facing the sun. This is the best possible way for the anthill to stay warm. Early in the morning, as soon as the sun rises, the ants start to work.  All the ants’ paths lead to the anthill; every ant works as much as it can. If a twig is too big for one ant, several of them will come to help and carry it to the anthill.

It is blessed to work with your hands and with the spirit.

Idleness leads to laziness, and laziness causes want. Watch the ants and observe their ways. First the natural, then the spiritual. “Even though they have no chief, officer or ruler, they prepare their food in the summer and gather their provisions in the harvest.” Proverbs 6:7-8.

Work with diligence

It is blessed to work with your hands and with the spirit. There is much food in the fallow ground of the poor. The foolish virgins begged oil from the wise virgins. That is the fate of those who are lazy. They end up begging.  The foolish virgins had failed to gather oil in their vessels. They were lazy. Naturally speaking, you have to be diligent to gather provisions, and it does not take any less diligence when it comes to gathering spiritual food. Poverty comes upon a lazy person like an armed man, like a prowler. The lazy man regards work as a plague, completely insurmountable—like a strong man who is armed with a shield. What an awful state to come into!

The ant hill and the temple

If a stick is too heavy for your brother, then pitch in and help him carry it

In the church, too, all paths lead to the anthill—that is, to the spiritual temple that is being built; for we are being built up together with the others into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. Let all things be done for edification. Be active in building up the kingdom of God. If a stick is too heavy for your brother, then pitch in and help him carry it. Not everybody is a minister of the Word, but everybody can be a servant of God when the temple is to be built. We have no ruler, officer or chief; neither does the ant, and yet the work is carried out quickly. The ants build lawfully according to an inner drive and motivation. That is how it should be.

How long will 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. Proverbs 6:9-11.

 

First published in BCC’s periodical “Skjulte Skatter” (“Hidden Treasures”) in June 1932
© Copyright Stiftelsen Skjulte Skatters Forlag

This post is also available in: Norwegian Bokmål

You might also be interested in our theme page about Overcoming sin.

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