The Wisdom of Ants

In the sixth chapter of proverbs we read some dire warnings and admonitions about co-signing loans, laziness, inner sins and sexual immorality. We are instructed to be wise in our dealings with others.. to prepare for our futures.. to deal with the inner defects in our lives.. and to flee sexual temptations. We would do well to take these to heart.

"My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, have given your pledge for a stranger, if you are snared in the words of your mouth, caught in the words of your mouth, then do this, my son, and save yourself, for you have come into the hand of your neighbor: go, hasten, and plead urgently with your neighbor. Give your eyes no sleep and your eyelids no slumber; save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the hand of the fowler." (v1-5)

What a graphic image of a bird caught in a trap. I have often heard that partnerships are very difficult because of the level of trust that is required to be successful in them. We so need wisdom when we enter into an alliance with another. Our words can ensnare us and cause us a lot of grief. My advice is to always get it in writing.. even when you are doing business with Christian friends.

"Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.” (v6) “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man." (v11)

Hard work will bring you to places that nothing else will.. and laziness will do the same. In my late 30s I started to save for retirement through my companies 401k program.. each month I put a little bit away for my "golden years".. little did I understand that I would be retiring at age 49. That little habit of saving enabled me to take advantage of a great pension package by my company. It is good to remember that even the ant thinks ahead.

"There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him:
  1. haughty eyes,
  2. a lying tongue,
  3. and hands that shed innocent blood,
  4. a heart that devises wicked plans,
  5. feet that make haste to run to evil,
  6. a false witness who breathes out lies,and
  7. one who sows discord among brothers." (v16-19)
This list amazes me.. lying is directly mentioned twice (#2 & 6) and indirectly once (#7). The inner workings of the heart (#4) are on the same list as the shedding of innocent blood. The list leads me to believe that pride (#1) and other inner qualities are so important to defeat to lead lives that please the Lord.

"He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself."(v32)

The last half of this chapter again addresses instructions about sexual promiscuity. It reinforces the idea that sexual sin has terrible consequences. I think that a person does lose their senses when they commit adultery.. they destroy their reputation and bring calamity to their family.. their delusion and deception is great.

If you liked this post then please click here to catch some of my other ponderings on the book of Proverbs.

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