Lessons from Ants

Chances are you have seen them – a lot! They are hard to miss. They are creatures that we battle with all the time. They have a powerful bite. They are capable of killing both people and animals.  They are tiny, but attack in great numbers. They are ants!

Ants are a very intriguing creation of God. On the surface they appear to be small and insignificant, and yet, the Bible says there are so many important lessons to be learned from them.

Consider the words from the wise man Solomon:

“Go to the ant, O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise, which, having no chief, officer or ruler, prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provision in the harvest.” – Proverbs 6:6-8

According to Solomon there are at least three life lessons we can learn from ants.

  • There is a lesson about preparation. Notice how Solomon tells us to observe the ant. He says the ant prepares for the future. He prepares his food in the summer so he won’t become a victim in the winter! He is smart enough to understand that today is not all there is. There is more to come. In due time the winter will be here and if he doesn’t have food stored he will starve.

Are we as wise as ants? Are we storing up and preparing for the future (Matthew 6:19-21)? The Bible says there are two inevitable events we are going to have to deal with in the future: death and judgment from God (Hebrews 9:27). Unfortunately, for so many they live each day as if this life is all there is. They fail to understand that our lives are just “a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away” (James 4:14). We are here but a short time on this earth. Eventually we will die, stand before God in the judgment, and then dwell for eternity in either heaven or hell (2 Corinthians 5:10; Matthew 25:46). The decisions we make now (each day) will determine our eternal destinies after this life! It would be wise for us to consider this constantly and make sure that we have surrendered completely to the Lord Jesus (Mark 16:16; John 12:28; 14:6). Those who do are wise like the ants. Those who don’t will suffer once the inevitable occurs.

  • There is a lesson about team work. The text in Proverbs 6 speaks of how the ants have no chief, officer, or ruler. And yet, every ant in the group has a function; they have something important they must do! Ants don’t work against each other. Instead, they work together. They cooperate with one another in an effort to accomplish a common goal. Some tend to eggs; others make sure that the queen is fed and taken care of; some search for and store food for the entire nest; others build the nest; some are soldiers and protect the nest.

In a group of ants every one has a job to do. Likewise, it is the same way in the church of God! In the church, or family of God, there is something important for everyone to do. Every member has a function in the body (1 Corinthians 12:12-20). Every one has a talent and ability for service (1 Peter 4:10-11). Every one has a purpose and responsibility to achieve so that the rest of the group can be successful (Ephesians 4:11-12). The question is: are we (if we are Christians) fulfilling our role? Are we using our talents to benefit others and build up the body of Christ?

  • There is a lesson about persistence. Have you ever destroyed an ant mound, only to find it rebuilt in just a few days? While that can be very frustrating, there is a lesson to be learned. The lessons is: ants don’t give up! You can knock down and destroy their hard work, but they will come together and build it again. No matter what, they will never quit until they are dead!

God wants His people to possess the same attitude. No matter what challenges we face in this life (no matter what things may discourage us and knock us down), we must never quit on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2). Instead, we must collect ourselves, remember the blessings we have in Christ, and press forward to the prize of heaven that awaits us in the end (Philippians 3:13-14). Ants never give up! Christians shouldn’t either!

Ants may irritate us from time to time, but there is a lot we can learn from ants. The question is: are we at least as smart as them? I pray and hope that we are.

– Shawn Jeffries

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