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Proverbs 6:6-8, Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
The wise man in Proverbs mentions the sluggard on several occasions and always in an uncomplimentary way.
He calls him out of his long sleep, he compares him to vinegar on the teeth and smoke in the eyes,
he says that sluggards have desires, but never realize their dreams.
He reminds us that sluggards excuse themselves from work by many varied and imaginative reasons.
He tells us that sluggards also have an exaggerated estimate of their own importance.
But God is concerned about the sluggard.
He does not like sluggardly ways and:
He has a way that deals with those ways.
He wants the sluggard to change his ways into diligent ways.
He wants him to have ways that are useful to him.
It is good to remember that God is complete in his instruction.
God has a nutcracker designed to crack every nut.
He has a way to reach all kinds, even the sluggard.
He has a curriculum designed to fit every kind of student, even the sluggard.
This proverb shows us a teaching method that fits well the habits of a sluggard, a person habitually lazy, idle and inactive.
He says in this proverb, Sluggard, I have a way to teach you to be wise and it doesn't require any strenuous activity on your part.
All you have to do is what you like to do. Lay down!
Lay down on the ground and relax and observe some of my creatures.
Sluggard! I know you like the prone position so I have just the syllabus that you need to be wise.
No physical activity on your part, just consider the ant. If you do so you can be wise, I promise you.
Now the ant is small in size and small in mention in the Bible.
The ant is mentioned only twice in the scriptures but its mention in both places is complementary, contrary to the mention of the sluggard.
God thinks highly of the ant.
He has instructed the sluggard to go and find wisdom from what many times we consider a pest.
He tells the sluggard to go to the lowly ant.
He tells them consider her ways, that is if the sluggard studies the pattern of her life and adopt that pattern then the sluggard will be wise.
What a result from such a lowly endeavor.
No tuition, no books, no travel to far away places, no dreary lessons from a boring professor, no papers, no tests, no homework.
Believe it or not, the sluggard can be wise just by considering the little ant on the ground.
How does the sluggard consider her ways? What must he do to learn from the ant.
First he must get down to a lowly position.
He must get down in the dirt. He may get his hands dirty.
God tells him to Go to the ant!
He must go to the ant and consider a lowly creature like the ant so that he may instruct him with the aim of becoming wise.
He must humble himself and admit that what God says is true as to what will make him wise.
I have brought some of these friends of God with me today so we can do what God says to do.
Since this proverb is addressed to sluggards, in order for this proverb to be most effective in our lives we must fit ourselves in this category.
Therefore during this lesson we will assume that we are sluggards today.
Do you think you can? Just for this lesson, mind you?
As God tells us, Go to the ant and consider her ways: Lets look at some and see:
Facts about ants:
Look at all these ants! They seem to be working together.
They are living and working with other ants in large groups.
Some of the ants are feeding and caring for the baby ants.
Others are keeping the nest clean, or storing away food.
There are even ant security guards at the entrances to the nest.
Some ants are planting and caring for little mushroom gardens deep in the nest.
Some are even raising different kinds of insects called plant lice or aphids.
They look like farmers tending their herds of cows.
They are milking a food from them that is like sugar called honeydew.
Several kinds of ants are keeping beetles as pets, can you imagine!
Looks to me like there are three classes of ants in this colony.
Oh! that one looks like the queen.
There are the male ants, but the multitude of the ants seem to be workers.
My! The queens lays the eggs.
Look at those males! Don't do a lick of work in the colony but they sure have an important purpose.
They mate with the queen to insure the survival of the colony.
But after mating the males work is done and they die.
The worker ants are all female ants but they never mate and they do all the work in the colony.
The workers don't all look alike.
Each group of workers has its own special job to do.
Some worker ants are taking care of the queen, some serve as nursemaids, taking care of the eggs, larvae, and pupae.
Look! They are moving them to get proper moisture and warmth.
Others are digging and enlarging the nest.
Others are operating a child care center for the young!
Look at the soldiers! They have very big jaws, which they seem to use for fighting and defense of the nest.
Other workers have large flat heads that are used to block up the doors of the nest.
And I don't see any ants fighting or quarreling.
Everyone of them seems to be busily engaged.
Where are their guides? Who is directing their work?
They seem to be able to do without.
Certainly they have an overseer to inspect their work.
Do they do it right the first time without being corrected?
Do you mean they get along without a supervisor? Can that be? Well! They must be accountable to a ruler, a king, a master, someone who calls them to account for their work!
No, I don't see any and I am looking very closely.
Not a guide, or an overseer or a ruler in sight!
My! what we can learn from the ant!
Isn't God wonderful by telling us to consider the ant?
Well now that we have considered the ant and her ways, what do we conclude?
Seems to me we conclude that the ant knows full well her purpose.
She has no doubt what that is.
It appears that her life is a disciplined one and an orderly one.
Everything is in the right place or she is engaged in getting it in the right place.
She does not rebel against her purpose but goes about to fulfill it without complaining or griping or desiring some better station in life.
If she is a worker she does her task.
If he is a male he will die willingly.
The queen lays the eggs as she is purposed to do and does not get the big head even though she is special and rare to the colony.
You see, the wisdom here is that if you know your purpose then you know that God is your guide, your overseer and your ruler.
You serve him as the ant serves him.
You know what to do because he gives you your purpose!
He gives you your direction, he inspects your work and to him you are accountable.
These conclusions, if adopted into our lives, will indeed make us wise as the Lord instructs in this wonderful proverb.
That wasn't too hard playing the sluggard, was it?