Read: Proverbs 30
Key Verses: Proverbs 30:24-28. “There are four things on earth that are small but unusually wise: Ants - they aren’t strong, but they store up food all summer. Hyraxes - they aren’t powerful, but they make their homes among the rocks. Locusts - they have no king, but they march in formation. Lizards—they are easy to catch, but they are found even in kings’ palaces.”
Devotional: Built within the very fabric of God’s creation is His desire that we would live our lives with wisdom and prudence. Innate to many within the animal kingdom is an instinct to not only survive but to provide, plan, strategize and conquer. Many would dismiss this as some sort of primeval instinct sourced in pure survival, the kill or be killed mentality or survival of the fittest. However as you read Scripture you begin to discover another alternative. Perhaps God designed all of His creation, animals and humans alike to function with more than just mere survival in mind. Examples abound from within the animal kingdom as to how you and I are called to live lives that glorify God and demonstrate wisdom.
Proverbs 30 gives us four such examples in the ant, hyraxes, locusts and lizard. Did you know that an ant can carry 10 to 50 times their own body weight. You’ve seen the images before of the tiny ant carrying off the picnickers lunch morsels right? Small but mighty. Seemingly insignificant but yet full of wisdom as they spend all summer storing up food for the long winter ahead.
The rock hyrax, also known as a rock badger is small but persistent in finding security in their rock homes of the Middle East. Here they find security from their predators: the leopard, large birds and snakes. Hyrax have been reported to use sentries: one or more animals will take up guard position on a vantage point and issue alarm calls on the approach of these predators. That's my kind of teamwork.
Locusts swarms can travel anywhere from 3-82 miles each day. In a small cloud of invading locusts, covering 40 square miles, there are about 70,000 tons of insects, thus several tens of billions of locusts. Talk about divide and conquer.
The final example is somewhat left to interpretation. Some versions translate it as lizards and some as spiders. Regardless of your interpretation both are found all over the world in almost every type of terrain. Some live in trees; others prefer to live in vegetation on the ground, while others live in deserts among rocks. Depending on your climate and geography you’ve run into spiders or perhaps even small lizards in your house. These are animals that are quite adaptable to their surroundings.
In each of these examples from the animal kingdom we see lessons on how we are to live. In the ant we see discipline and perseverance. We see the ant able to carry a load far heavier than expected from a creature so small. You too are capable of carrying more than expected. As God gives you strength you can endure a load far greater than those who choose to live life alone and without God’s help.
In the hyrax we see strength in numbers. The use of centuries or guards is a perfect model for how we are to live our lives. We need to surround ourselves with people who will watch out for us and stand guard against our predator, the devil.
In the locust we see the characteristic of team work. When we can combine our efforts with those around us we can accomplish far more than when we function alone. When we harness our gifts to other’s gifts we multiply our effectiveness.
In the lizard or spider we see the ability to adapt. As God calls us to a wide variety of environments and circumstances we can still remain effective because it’s not where we serve but rather who we serve.
Take Action: Rate yourself against the ant, hyrax, locust and lizard. Place an “X” on the line that best represents where you currently find yourself.
Your ability to carry more than you imagined:
Your ability to surround yourself with people who help guard against predators:
Your ability to harness your gifts with the gifts of those around you for God’s glory:
Your ability to adapt to whatever circumstances God calls you into:
How can you make progress in these areas beginning today?
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