Proverbs 6:6-8 “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.”
Pastor has been preaching through the book of Proverbs on Sunday evenings and he recently covered the above portion of chapter 6. We are facing a time in our nations where an increasing number of people have no desire to work. This is not something that is pleasing to God and should not be a characteristic of believers.
God’s Word, particularly the book of Proverbs speaks about the value of hard work, and for good reason. The difference between success and failure, between potential disappointment or fulfillment is often hard work. The ant works hard when the work is to be done and gives a good lesson in her ways and her wisdom.
I recently heard a story about a young man who applied for a job as a farmhand. When the farmer asked for his qualifications, he said, “I can sleep through a storm.” This puzzled the farmer, but he liked the young man. So, he hired him. A few weeks later, the farmer and his wife were awakened in the night by a violent storm ripping through the valley. He jumped out of bed and called for his new hired man but found him sleeping soundly in the midst of the storm.
The farmer and his wife quickly began to check things to see if all was secure. They found that the shutters of the farmhouse had been securely fastened. A good supply of logs had been set next to the fireplace. They found that the farm tools had been placed in the storage shed, safe from the elements. And wheat bales had been bound and wrapped in tarps. The tractor had been moved into its garage. The barn was properly locked tight. Even the animals were calm and had plenty of feed. All was well.
The farmer then understood the meaning of the young man’s words, “I can sleep through a storm.” Because the farmhand did his work loyally and faithfully when the skies were clear, he was prepared for any storm. So, when the storm did actually break, he was not concerned or afraid. He could sleep in peace.
We are to look ahead and plan to provide for future demands, taking into consideration that there will be emergencies like accidents, illness, death, natural disasters. We are to prepare for such things. If we fail to do that, it is not showing faith that “God will provide,” but rather presumption and irresponsibility in throwing all the responsibility on God while we ignore ours, failing to fulfill what God instructs us to do.
The ant is wise and worthy of imitation because she works hard without having to be told to work hard. It is wise to follow someone or something that teaches us good habits. The ant works without another ant over her yet, gets her work done and done well. The ant prepares ahead and is never short of food. We can learn a lesson from the ant. We should not have to be driven to work hard, but should do our work, because it needs to be done. We should be like the ant and prepare ahead for the winter.
How about you? Can you “sleep through a storm?”