I don’t know about you, but I have always been fascinated with animals. As a child, I watched Marlin Perkins and Jacques Cousteau. Later, I enjoy watching Jack Hannah, Steve Irwin (the crocodile hunter), and Jeff Corwin – though it is frustrating to hear their spouting of the evolutionary theory. Kevin Hodge has been on some very interesting TV programs [Animal Planet (Animal Cops Houston), Nat. Geo. Wild (I, Predator), Houston’s Zooper Stars, etc].
God created the animals (Genesis 1, 2; Exodus 20:11). He created the animals with certain characteristics. At times, He uses these characteristics to teach man lessons (Job 38-41; Psalms 23; 42:1-2; Proverbs 6:6-11; Ezekiel 34; Matthew 6:26; etc.).
This is certainly true in Proverbs 30:24-28. “There are four things which are little on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise” (Proverbs 30:24). Let us notice…
“The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer” (Proverbs 30:25).
Ants are seemingly always at work. They’re not sluggards (Proverbs 6:6). I’ve never seen a lazy ant, have you? In the tropics army ants can destroy a cedar pole overnight, and leaf cutter ants can strip a plant of its leaves in no time.
Moreover, they are not only busy and active workers, they are opportunistic. They work while they have opportunity. Some ants, in mid-latitude and sub-arctic/sub-antarctic zones, hibernate in the winter. They thus “fatten” themselves up in the good months to survive the winter. Some ants store food for the winter. They prepare for the future. Remember Aesop’s fable ” The grasshopper and the ant.”
Lessons: (1) we should “work, the works of Him… while it is day; the night is coming, when no man can work” (John 9:4). We should use every opportunity (Galatians 6:10). (2) We should prepare for the future judgment is coming (2 Corinthians 5:10).
“The rock badgers (conies KJV) are a feeble folk, yet they make their homes in the crags (rocks KJV)” (Proverbs 30:26).
This should not be confused with the North American badger. The animal mentioned here is about the size of a rabbit, and known for its timidity. Its basic defense is where it dwells. “The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; the cliffs are a refuge for the rock badgers” (Psalm 104: 18).
Lesson: We need to know where to dwell for safety. The Psalmist said, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer” (Psalm 18:2). Again, “The LORD has been my defense, and my God the rock of my refuge” (Psalm 94:22).
“The locusts have no king, yet they all advance in ranks (go they forth all of them by bands KJV)” (Proverbs 30:27).
Wolves have an alpha male to lead them; armies have generals to lean them; kingdoms have kings to lead them; but, locust have no leader. Yet, the go forth, conquer, and devour nonetheless. [Exodus 10:1-19 (cf. Psalm 78:46; 105:34-35). Deuteronomy 28:38; Joel 1:4; 2:1-ff; Revelation 9:3; 7].
Lesson: Some folks have no initiative or gumption of their own. They wait around idly, waiting to be led, waiting to be told what to do. Some, if they came the wounded man in Luke 10:30-ff, might think they needed a benevolent committee meeting before acting! We shouldn’t be like this. We should be people of action. We can visit the sick, send letters and cards, make phone calls and do many other things without being told to do so by the eldership.
“The spider skillfully grasps with its hands, and is in king’s palaces” (Proverbs 30:28).
The NASB and the ESV reads “lizard” instead of “spider.” There is some uncertainty as to the original word’s meaning.
However, whatever the reference, to the spider or a lizard, the meaning is the same. Even in the most closely guarded houses little creatures enter. Thomas Seals writes, “By determination and continued efforts, this agile and clever little animal finds his way into the palaces of eastern monarchs” (Proverbs: Wisdom For All Ages, p. 133).
Lesson: If we are going to make it into the King’s palace in the end we must be determined, and make persistent effort, “let us not be weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9).