(The following article was first published in The Exhorter at the Cedar Park Church of Christ in Cedar Park, TX, on January 21st, 2018, and at the Tanner Street Church of Christ in Malvern, AR, in February 2018. RTS, age 12)
Wisdom is very important in the Christian’s walk, but where does wisdom come from? James 1:5 tells us where to find the answer:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
Does this mean all we have to do is ask? Of course not! Throughout the New Testament, there are examples of people studying to find wisdom, like the Bereans (Acts 17:11) and Timothy, as he was directed by Paul in II Tim 2:15. However, God has made ways for us to get wisdom through His creation also. An example of this is found in Proverbs 30:24-28 (ESV).
“Four things on earth are small, but they are exceedingly wise: the ants are a people not strong, yet they provide their food in the summer; the rock badgers are a people not mighty, yet they make their homes in the cliffs; the locusts have no king, yet all of them march in rank; the lizard you can take in your hands, yet it is in kings’ palaces.”
Ants are one of the smallest creatures on earth, but they are also one of the hardest working creatures on earth. This isn’t the first time Solomon mentions ants in Proverbs. In 6:6-8 we’re told not to be lazy, but to be more like the ants who keep working until the job is finished. In both passages, ants are described as creatures to look ahead and prepare for days to come. As Christians, we are to do the same. We don’t know how long it will be until our eternal winter begins, so it’s important that we’re prepared today and every day.
Rock badgers (also called conies) are medium-sized rodents that take refuge in rocky terrain. When clans are feeding, a small group of guards keep watch over them. If danger appears, the guards will squeak to alert the clan to take shelter in the rocks. From this, we know that we are also weak, and we need to take shelter in our Rock, who is Jesus. He has provided guards for us through the appointment of elders. They alert us to dangers and keep watch over our souls.
Unlike other insects that follow the leadership of a queen, locusts have no ruler. Locusts are very organized and methodical, though. Solomon says that they “all march in rank.” As Christians, we must work together to fight the armies of Satan and feed on fields of spiritual food. We also must watch each other each step of the way and help each other grow. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do Christians fight the armies of Satan? Each of us works together to do a part.
Lizards are small creatures that are easy to catch. You would think that they would be extinct because they’re easy prey, however you can find them all over the world from the smallest shack to the largest castle. Christians are like this as well. Christians have been persecuted throughout history, yet you can still find them all over the world. Don’t worry about being caught in Satan’s trap. Boldly go into the world and spread the good news of the Gospel of Christ.
These four creatures seem insignificant, but we can learn important lessons from them and from all of God’s creation. Ask for wisdom like Solomon did, and always be on the lookout for wisdom from unlikely sources.