Proverbs 30:24-28 – Planning for tomorrow

ants workingAs noted in prior devotionals from Proverbs 30, this chapter sets forth a series of simple proverbs grouped together in individual lists contrasting 4 common observations.  I challenge you to consider and ponder today’s proverbs and their implications to daily life.

Proverbs 30:24-28 – “There be four things which are little [small; least; insignificant] upon the earth [land; country; nations], but they are exceeding [wise; skilled; act wisely] wise [cunning; subtle; intelligent]: 25  The ants are a people [folk; tribe; troop] not strong [fierce; mighty; greedy], yet they prepare [establish; provide; set up; make provision] their meat [food] in the summer [harvest]; 26  The conies [rock rabbit] are but a feeble [many; numerous] folk [tribe; troop], yet make [put; set; place] they their houses [homes; family] in the rocks [strongholds; crags]; 27  The locusts [swarming locusts or grasshoppers] have no king, yet go they forth [break out; come; spring out] all of them by bands [dividing the spoil]; 28  The spider taketh hold [to catch; seize; capture] with her hands [power; place; dominion; tendons] , and is in kings’ palaces.”

The wonder of God’s Creation and the instinct of the creatures He created is the theme of today’s proverbs.  Four small species are the subject of the king’s observations, three of them insects [ants, locusts and spiders] and the fourth the “coney” which is the rabbit.  Solomon’s observations remind us that creatures of the earth often exhibit in their natural instincts a wisdom that exceeds the wisdom and actions of narcissistic humanity.  Although self-evident truths, I will make a few brief comments.

Consider ants who structure their lives and habitat in colonies and though numbered in the thousands, are disciplined in their labor and selfless in their work to provide for the well-being of the colony (30:25).  Solomon made a similar observation in earlier proverbs (Proverbs 6:6-8) that contrasted the diligence of the ant with the slothfulness of some men.

The “coney”, known to us as the rabbit, is a non-threatening, simple mammal that, though fragile in nature, finds safety in rocks, crags and cliffs.  The rabbit’s instinct is that rough, foreboding, difficult terrain provides shelter and protects its offspring from ravenous predators (30:26).

The locust is our third illustration of the innate wisdom of God’s creatures that, without a leader, provide for their ravenous appetites by foraging for food as a body (30:27).spider webs

The fourth and final illustration of the wisdom of earthly creatures is the spider (30:28).  Spiders are found all over the world and on every continent except one—Antarctica.  There is no abode of man that is immune to the invasive nature of the spider.  From the humble abode of the poor to the grandest of homes and palaces, the spider spins its web entrapping creatures upon which it will eventually feed.

So what lesson should we take from these four simple, but ingenious creatures of God’s creation?

A wise man will follow the example of the ant, rabbit, locust and spider and diligently labor today to provide, protect and lay in store for tomorrow’s uncertainties.