‘Take a lesson from the ants… Learn from their ways and become wise!’ Proverbs 6:6 NLT
The Bible says: ‘Take a lesson from the ants… Learn from their ways and become wise! Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, they labour hard all summer, gathering food for the winter.’(Proverbs 6:6–8 NLT) While the queen ant is the centre of attention and the mother of most of the ants in the colony, she’s not the chief ruler. The work and survival of the colony are insured by ‘soldier’ ants. These servant-leaders are older ants that begin each new activity in the colony by doing the work themselves. The younger ants then imitate the servant-leaders and join in the work. There are no supervisors, chiefs, or officers amongst the ants. So when Solomon says the ants ‘have no prince, governor, or ruler to make them work’, it means the ant is a self-starter; this is a picture of the diligent person he describes in Proverbs 10:4 NLT: ‘Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich.’ When you see an ant carrying a piece of bread several times larger than himself up a steep slope, it’s a study in diligence! No matter how many times he drops the bread, he goes back and picks it up, and starts climbing again until he gets it to where it’s supposed to go. What drives him? Hunger—God’s motivating force in labor. ‘It is good for workers to have an appetite; an empty stomach drives them on.’ (Proverbs 16:26 NLT) The stomach-growl of a hungry man or woman is often God’s way of teaching us the value and importance of being willing to work.