Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Pastor interjected a personal note Sunday morning, not quite in the lesson, but related a bit to yesterday’s cooperative oarsmen. He spoke of ants outside his house and how he admired their work. Solomon used them as examples, too:
Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. (Proverbs 6:6-8 KJV)
Solomon mentioned them again, one of four things:
There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise: The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer; (Proverbs 30:24-25 KJV)
Seasons are not as important in many of today’s societies. Harvests occur at different times in our world and goods are more easily transported. Oh, Solomon’s people stored harvests, preparing for times when there would be none, but he would not recognize today’s storage habits. He would recognize today’s ants, as they continue to operate in the same fashion as they did thousands of years ago. They are still good examples for us, too.
Ants work with a single purpose, bring food into the nest. No other ants stand along their trail with tiny whips to see that the work gets done, yet the cooperation continues. Mankind does not do as well when it comes to cooperation. We do have supervisors who oversee labor, adjusting schedules to reach peak productivity. I believe the majority of us do not plan as well as the ant colony for our times of need, setting back when we have much. We tend to use all we have – and borrow a bit more, often for wants instead of needs. We all have needs – some more than others!
A person who regularly attends our church lost his home over the weekend in a fire. His belongings are gone, his clothes, his personal possessions. Gone, too, are the documents telling others who he is – birth certificate, drivers license, Social Security card. Yet he remains part of a group who will work with him to replace, for no other reason than they care about him. That cooperation comes with empathy as well as sympathy, a willingness to be of help. This the ant cannot do.
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. (Matthew 25:34-36 KJV)
Many standing before the king in this parable could not recall doing any of that for Him. They questioned His statement, and He responded:
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Matthew 25:40 KJV)
Ants are so focused they don’t stop to help others in trouble. Those who love the Lord will help others, for His glory, not their own. We all benefit when they do.