“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.”
In this world …
As Anthony pointed out yesterday, there is a lot of practical advice for everyday life found in Proverbs.
My wife and I work in schools. This means we have summers off from work. We have a couple of options when the summer comes:
- One or both of us can find summer jobs to cover expenses.
- We can set aside some of each paycheck to help cover expenses for the two to three months we do not work.
Especially with all of the economic concerns in our world today, it is a good idea to save up the money needed in case a summer job cannot be found. Doing this, however, requires discipline and a plan. It is not always easy to remember or even want to set money aside.
There are unexpected expenses that arise. A friend might call and say it is a great day to go out and do something. That new phone/car/movie might come out that everyone (including you and me) just has to have. These can make saving money hard, but we can learn from our friend the ant how wise it is to plan and implement those plans well.
In the next …
This passage is also a good reminder of what comes after this life. There are many who plan on waiting until the last moment of life to make any meaningful change in their lives and/or to follow God.
One problem with this is that we never know when we might die. A few are able to know their end is near and can make a conscious change, but most people are caught unaware through accidents, violence, wars, and sudden terminal illnesses.
The next problem is that we never know when Christ will return. He even warned us:
1Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
Showing discipline and actively preparing for whatever may come not only helps us in this life, it prepares us for the next.
Loving Lord, grant us the patience and discipline we need to have full and wise lives. Grant us the wisdom to prepare for unforseen circumstances as well as expected, and help is remain faithful until Your return!