Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC
Go to the ant, O sluggard;
consider her ways, and be wise.
7 Without having any chief,
officer, or ruler,
8 she prepares her bread in summer
and gathers her food in harvest.
9 How long will you lie there, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
11 and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an armed man.
Ants are incredibly remarkable creatures. Give an ant colony a week and a pile of dirt, and they’ll transform it into an underground edifice comparable to a skyscraper in an ant-scaled city. Without a blueprint or a leader, thousands of these tiny little insects moving specks of dirt create a complex structure with parallel levels connected by a network of tunnels. Some ant species even build living structures out of their bodies: army ants and fire ants in Central and South America assemble themselves into bridges that smooth their path on foraging expeditions, and certain types of fire ants interconnect themselves into makeshift rafts to escape floods.
Solomon here says these amazing little creations of God provide a glowing example for us. How are they able to accomplish such great things for their size in such a short amount of time? Two reasons: TEAMWORK AND HARD WORK. Solomon here says we learn from their example of teamwork. They have no ruler in charge of the building project, yet somehow they all work together with one purpose and one goal. There’s no arguing about who is in charge. There’s no complaining about why one carries this piece of dirt and another carries a different speck. There’s no political jockeying or power grabs. There’s just humble service all working toward a common goal. It’s amazing what the church can do when we all get along and move in the same direction. We have one mission, make disciples of Jesus Christ, and one purpose, the glory of God. It really is true that teamwork makes the dream work. Solomon says we should emulate the ants in this way.
Secondly, Solomon says ants can be described by hard work. They prepare bread in the summer and gather food in the harvest. This takes careful planning and hard work. He goes on to say they are never lazy. Laziness seems to be at epidemic levels in our country today. Laziness is not so much the absence of activity, it’s failing to do the responsible thing. Laziness is failing to take personal responsibility for your life. The truth is we are all personally responsible for what we do in this life, and the good news is that through the power of the resurrection of Jesus we can make responsible choices. True joy comes in fulfilling the God ordained purpose for your life, not in sitting around and expecting others to serve you. Entitlement is the epitome of selfishness, because neither God nor man owes us anything. The Lord is not obligated to provide us with a comfortable life, we are obligated to submit to His Lordship, and the greatest joy of life comes in serving and giving in Jesus name.
Listen, don’t be lazy. Laziness will absolutely suck the spiritual life out of you. Also, be a team player. Anybody can take their ball and go home when things don’t go their way, but it takes a mature believer to work with others. Be an ant. Let’s all be humble servants in God’s Kingdom. Always remember the basics of teamwork and hard work. If you and I will humbly serve God and one another we will all stand amazed at what God will accomplish for his own glory.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Dear Lord, forgive me of my selfishness and irresponsible actions at times. Help me work together with your body to accomplish your mission God. I take personal responsibility for my actions, and I long for you to be glorified in all I say and do. In Jesus name, amen!
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the Lord.