Slugs, Bugs and the Diligent

This continues a series on Proverbs & Money.

Proverbs 6:6-11; 12:24, 27; 13:4

Go to the ant, O sluggard;
consider her ways, and be wise.
Without having any chief,
officer, or ruler,
she prepares her bread in summer
and gathers her food in harvest.
How long will you lie there, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an armed man.

The hand of the diligent will rule,
while the slothful will be put to forced labor.
Whoever is slothful will not roast his game,
but the diligent man will get precious wealth.
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing,
while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.

I have a particular disdain for ants, especially fire ants. If you could envision how my hyper-allergic skin reacts when bitten, then maybe you would understand. The initial reaction is one of red, stinging bumps followed by a week’s worth of itchiness, inevitable scratching, and long term scarring. To exacerbate matters, despite all of my super-hero efforts to eradicate the beast from my oversized yard, new mounds form daily in the heat of summer. They mock me with their endless ambition. This scenario leads me to question the very goodness of God in forming such a creature at all.

But my sinful murmurs do not negate the purposes of God. These fiery ants are to serve as a reminder of the glory of God’s wisdom. God created ants for this very day and for this very e-mail. They serve as a loving life-lesson of the blessing of diligence and the curse of sloth.

Being without a master the scripture says, the ant needs no one to tell her why God put her on earth. She does not attempt to usurp God’s created order and authority over the daily means of grace discovered through her hard work. She does what she was made to do. No questions. No arguments. No complaints. DUTY.

Thankfully, though, duty is not all there is for us even though that would be enough. You see the ants weren’t created in God’s image. She doesn’t have the capacity for sorrow and joy. She has never sinned…but has never been redeemed either. We on the other hand have a soul, and this fact coupled with Godly diligence will lead to a soul that is richly supplied. This is motivation that moves beyond duty towards delight. Delight in the service of the best Master one could ever imagine. It moves beyond stuff and towards relationship with a Master who doesn’t need us to work for Him, but allows us to work for Him. All so that we may experience a full heart overflowing from the fullness of His bounty. Thank you God for this joy (and for ants too)!

P.S. I am still going to take to a liberal interpretation of the idea that God has given us dominion over His creation. The fire ant eradication program is ongoing.

All posts in this "Proverbs and Money" series were submitted by a friend of Aaron's who wishes to remain anonymous.

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