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 (Manna 12)
Go to the Ants
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Go to the Ants

King Solomon in his book of wisdom advised the sluggard: “Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise” (Prov 6:6).

The world is becoming more and more wicked. Even some of our fellow brethren are rather arrogant, self-conceited and complacent. Some allow their spirituality to drift away. King Solomon’s proverb may well serve as an antidote to declining spirituality.

Generally there are three kinds of believers in the church today. They are the industrious, the sluggard, and the lukewarm.

The hard working believers will never lag in their zeal but will always grow in the Spirit. They are ready to serve the Lord at all times. When attending church service they would listen to the words of God attentively. They are not only listeners but doers. In some ways they are like Paul, ready to sacrifice themselves because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus. They are cautious in deeds. They would make the most of their time trying to understand the will of God. They are filled with the Holy Spirit and are always cheerful. They are very pleasant to work with. They sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with thankfulness in their hearts to glorify God. This kind of believers, we call them “men of wisdom” and men who fear God.

The sluggard, on the other hand, thinks that he can stand firm in his faith. He has no urge whatsoever to improve his spirituality. But Paul exhorted such people to take heed lest they should fall. The rich fool in the parable thinks that with all the wealth he had gathered he could rest on his laurels. But the Lord said to him, “Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared whose will they be?” Those who get rich overnight would associate with friends of the world. They would drink and indulge in the lust of the flesh. They will not endure sound teaching but have itching ears. They will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths. Outwardly they appear religious but within them they deny the power of God. These are the foolish believers. We should avoid associating with them.

The lukewarm are those whose faith and works are neither cold nor hot. They are sitting on the fence. On the one hand they want to serve Christ, but on the other hand they also want to serve mammon. They look for the kingdom of God and they also love the world (Mt 6:24; 1 Jn 2:15-16). To these people, the scriptures have this to say: “I know your works; you arc neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! Because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth” (Rev 3:15-16). The lukewarm believers are contemptible in the eyes of God. They shall be condemned if they do not repent. To the sluggard King Solomon advised them to learn from the ants and they shall be inspired to become wise. Given time and with the help of the Holy Spirit they should be able to lift up their spirituality. Then they will be motivated to be more industrious and attain maturity.

The Bible teaches us to go to the ants and consider their ways and we shall be wise. The ways the ants act tell vividly of the wisdom, the glory and the beautiful will of God over His wonderful creation.

The Bible states that the ants are without any chief, officer or ruler; they prepare their food in summer, and gather their sustenance in harvest. Though they are in large number and without a leader, they can live harmoniously. They do not strive but instead they help each other. They are not selfish and they are ready to share their food when they find any. Everyone is expected to do his best. They do not take a day off for recreation but are forever busy preparing for rainy days. Indeed, they are the exemplary, industrious workers. Therefore, the sluggard should go to the ants and observe their ways so that they may be reminded of the perilous times ahead and that they may not falter in the course of their journey to the heavenly kingdom.

To enter the kingdom of God we must emulate the five wise virgins who prepared themselves with lamps and also equipped themselves with oil in their vessels. At mid-night then the bridegroom came, the five virgins went out to meet the bridegroom. Because the five wise virgins had equipped themselves they went in with the bridegroom and sat at table with him (Mt 25:1-10).

Believers should cooperate with each other and work together to serve the Lord. They should not let the house of God go unattended (Hag 1:9). On the contrary, they must organize themselves to prepare it for the coming of Christ. Though the harvest is plentiful yet labourers are few. The sluggard should wake up from their slumber or else poverty would creep on them. This will not only bring about hardship to them, they will also burden the church (Mt 9:37; Prov 6:9-11; Lk 13:6-9).

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