Want to be a Good, Wise Worker?
Learn from God’s Six-Legged Teachers - from Prov. 6:6-11
We all have stories of “that teacher”; eccentric, odd, one-of-a-kind. But a six-legged instructor, with antenna, that raids picnics? God can use anything to teach us. In Job it is the sky, earth, animals… In Proverbs 6 it is an ant. Can you think of some odd things or teachers that helped you learn a thing or two? No names!
In Proverbs 6 we overhear a parent, King Solomon, challenging a “less than motivated child” - lazy - to learn from something right under his feet; the lowly ant. These ant-inspired lessons in hard and smart work help us fulfill our God-given responsibilities: at school, home, on the job, sports… Read and compare these versions & then use them to answer the questions to help you become a wiser worker like the ant.
Proverbs 6:6-11 (NLT)
6 Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones.
Learn from their ways and become wise!
7 Though they have no prince
or governor or ruler to make them work,
8 they labor hard all summer,
gathering food for the winter.
9 But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep?
When will you wake up?
10 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
11then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit;
scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.
Proverbs 6:6-11 (ESV)
6 Go to the ant, O sluggard;
consider her ways, and be wise.
7 Without having any chief,
officer, or ruler,
8 she prepares her bread in summer
and gathers her food in harvest.
9 How long will you lie there, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
11and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an armed man.
What is the “lazybones, sluggard” son told to do first (vs. 6)? Why is that import-ant? J
See also Prov. 1:1-7; 4:1-9; Eph. 4:28; 2 Thess. 3:10; Prov. 30:24, 25
What lessons in motivation does the ant teach us (vs. 7, 8)?
See also Eph. 6:5-9; Col. 3:17-4:1; 1 Thess. 4:11, 12. ~ Google T.R.’s “in the arena”
How is the ant working in summer is a good example (vs. 8)?
Sounds like: Maturity = Delayed Gratification (1 Cor. 15:58; Prov. 12:27; 21:5)
See also Gal. 6:7-10; 2 Cor. 6:9-11
What can we learn from ant’s gathering in harvest? (vs. 8 & Eccles. 11:4, 6)
“Four things are small…exceedingly wise: The ants are not a strong people,
But they prepare their food in the summer…” Prov. 30:24, 25
What serious warnings is this lazy son - and us - given? (vs. 9-11)
“Sluggards do not plow in season; so at harvest time they look but find nothing.” (Prov. 20:4)
See also Prov. 10:4; 13:4; 12:27; 21:5; 2 Thess. 3:10
v “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might… (Eccles. 9:10)
v “…work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord…” (Col. 3:23, 24; 1 Cor. 10:31)
v “Earn all you can, give all you can, save all you can.” Rev. John Wesley
The Context of this Parental Teaching Session:
6:1-5 “My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor,
save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter…”
6 “Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.”
12-15 “A worthless person… calamity will come upon him suddenly…”
16-19 “There are six things that the Lord hates… seven…”
20-35 “He who commits adultery lacks sense… destroys himself.” (vs. 32)
Reminder: Proverbs are general statements of truth . Not ALL:
Full barns are due to diligence (Ps. 37, 73; Prov. 1:19; 13:11)
Poverty is due to laziness (Prov. 16:8; Jer. 22:13; James 5:4)
Mercy towards the poor is godly (Prov. 19:17; 28:27; 1 Jn 3 & 4; Mt 25)
King Solomon also wrote this great advice: “He who watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap… Sow your seed in the morning and do not be idle in the evening, for you do not know whether morning or evening sowing will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good.” (Eccles. 11:4, 6)
Living out “Ant Hill Wisdom”:
q Repent of laziness, undisciplined living! (Eph. 4:28; 2 Thess. 3:10)
q Would you hire you? Are you contributing or stealing through sloth!
q Are those watching you seeing an example worth copying? (1 Thess. 4:11, 12)
q What does it take to “light a fire” under you? God’s glory? (1 Cor. 10:31)
6 Go to the ant, O sluggard,
Observe her ways and be wise,
7 Which, having no chief,
Officer or ruler,
8 Prepares her food in the summer
And gathers her provision in the harvest.
9 How long will you lie down, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
10 “A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest”—
11 Your poverty will come in like a vagabond
And your need like an armed man. (Prov. 6:6-11 - NASB)
A Lesson from the Ant – The Message - Prov. 6
6-11 You lazy fool, look at an ant.
Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two.
Nobody has to tell it what to do.
All summer it stores up food;
at harvest it stockpiles provisions.
So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing?
How long before you get out of bed?
A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there,
sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next?
Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life,
poverty your permanent houseguest!