Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Ants are used as models of industrious workers whose diligence provides for the present & prepares for the future. Laziness keeps one from fulfilling their physical & spiritual responsibilities & realizing the potential of their earthy & eternal future

PROVERBS 6: 6-11


[John 4:31-38]

God speaks to us most clearly and directly through His Word, but if one does not trust the wisdom of His Word, then he can extract wisdom from observing nature and fallen man. Nature teaches us to be prepared and fallen man is often ill-prepared. Foolish, unwarranted financial dealings can impoverish a man, but most generally man is destitute because of laziness.

The procrastinator and lazy person in order to become wise is told to learn from the example of the ant. Ants are industrious workers whose diligence provides for the present and prepares for the future. This diligence and industry of the ant needs no supervisor to tell it what to do or to see that it is done. Laziness keeps one from fulfilling their physical and spiritual responsibilities and realizing the potential of their earthy and eternal future (CIM).



To encourage and instruct in diligence verse 6 advises us to study the ant. "Go to the ant, O sluggard. observe her ways and be wise."

God’s creation can teach us many lessons, if we let be a classroom. So "a sluggard" or a lazy irresponsible person is challenged to learn from "the ant and be wise." The book of Proverbs mentions ants in several places and reminds us of what remarkable creatures they are and the many lessons we can learn from them. Much of the study of insects in recent days has confirmed many of the varied aspects of the life of these tiny insects.

Ants are models of industry as they organize themselves for a great variety of undertakings, and in the way an ant colony resembles a great complex community in which citizens are hard at work moving the wheels of industry and agriculture.

Naturalists have shown the ants’ ingenuity as architects, and their industry as miners and builder. They have divided them into mason ants, carpenter ants, mining ants, and carving ants.

One variety of ants generally called Harvester Ants are specialists in harvesting and storing food. These busy little workers move out among the seed-producing plants, carefully gathering the seeds and carrying them back to special nests where the seeds are painstakingly stacked away in reserve.

Another ant with agricultural skills is called the Parasol Ant. These ants collect leaves which are cut and prepared as a special kind of compost in which the diligent little farmers plant fungus spore. The beds are carefully tended with Gardener Ants removing the weeds and harvesting the mushroom crop as it is ready for eating.

The ants do so much despite being so small because of resolve and effort. Man is far more equip for work that ants though. You with your marvelous skeletal frames, strong sinews and strategically placed muscles as well as intellect, memory, imagination, conscience and soul. You have been equipped with all that is needed to attempt the task set before you. And in the attempt there is growth.

"Go to the ant"-world look at their little mines, chambers, store houses, military garrisons, workshops and in all of these not one idler, all are active. Scripture says if a man does not work he should not eat, (2 Thess. 3:10) God will not feed you physically or spiritual without your own exerted effort.

People often misunderstand the fall of man and think that work is cursed (Gen. 3:17-19). They have not read the Scripture very carefully or they would have seen that man was made to work in his perfect state, that God worked and enjoyed what He was doing, that Jesus worked in glad obedience to the Father, and that those whom Christ chose as His disciples were men who were not afraid of getting their hands dirty. The drudgery of work is the result of man’s downfall, not work itself It is man’s fallen attitude toward his work that makes him so dissatisfied, so disgruntled and so difficult.

While work is hard and difficult because of fallen humanity if a believer will commit his work to Christ he can use it to bring glory to God.

The sluggard lags behind the ant in two observed ways. The first, in verse 7, is that ants needs no leader to achieve success but each readily joins in the organizational structure that promotes achievement. "Which, having no chief, officer or ruler,"

Although ants may be a nuisance, Solomon praised them for their steadfast work ethic. Ants, known for being industrious are how commended for their initiative. He pointed out that ants are self-directed. Apparently ants have no leader, in the form of a commander or chief to direct them, no overseer or officer to instruct or inspect their work, or no ruler to prod them on. Yet they work better and are more productive than most people with a leader!

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