"Four things on earth are small, but they are exceedingly wise: the ants are a people not strong, yet they provide their food in the summer; the rock badgers are a people not mighty, yet they make their homes in the cliffs; the locusts have no king, yet all of them march in rank; the lizard you can take in your hands, yet it is in kings’ palaces." Proverbs 30:24-28
Writing some 2,600 years ago, a man named Agar points our minds to four small creatures to make four big points. His thought is that these creatures -- while small and seemingly insignificant -- serve to direct us to the road of wisdom. We will consider the ant, rock badger, locust, and lizard.
For today's devotional, we will consider the ant. This insect is vulnerable and appears to be weak, yet is strong enough and wise enough to store up food for the winter. They know the times and prepare today for what will be needed later. Sadly, far too many people today fail to do the same.
So many people go through life looking in the rear view mirror instead of looking ahead. Haddon Robinson once remarked, "The danger is that if you spend life thinking you did something great yesterday, chances are you haven't done very much today." It seems most people never learn the lesson of the ant.
When we live our lives looking backward, it is hard to move ahead. For some, they look at the past and feel overwhelmed with mistakes and failures. Others may look to the past and be intoxicated with successes and victories. Either way, the result is the same. We can easily miss today by looking back, and we indeed fail to plan for tomorrow by being consumed with yesterday.
Some live only for the past – and they miss out entirely on the blessings of today
Some live only for today – and they make no preparation for the future
Some live only for the future – and miss today's opportunities
The way of wisdom suggests that you need to look back and learn from life's lessons and then, enjoy today. However, as you enjoy today, you need to also prepare now for what you will need down the road. You need to store up your wisdom and knowledge of the Scriptures today because you will soon need it.
Here is the lesson: If the ant waits until winter to look for food, it will starve to death. Similarly, if you wait until the temptation comes to know God's Word, you will be in trouble. Instead, learn the lesson of the ant and enjoy today by preparing for tomorrow. Learn about God now. Establish your faith in God and His Word today. Put simply, prepare yourself today for what you may need tomorrow.
If we learn the lesson of the ant, we too will learn the discipline of preparation.
*check back in the days to come for parts 2, 3, and 4
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