Proverbs thirty is a chapter written by an unknown but humble prophet named Agur. An interesting highlight of this proverb are the groups of four verses that reveal Agur’s comments about life. There are four kinds of unsuitable conduct (vv. 11-14); four things never satisfied (vv. 15-16); four remarkable things (vv. 18-19); four unbearable, unfair things (vv. 21-23); four stately creatures (vv. 29-31), and here, in vv. 24-28, four tiny but wise animals. God has taught us several important lessons through tiny things. Zechariah 4:10 asks: “For who has despised the day of small things?” In Jonah’s day it was a tiny worm and a gourd (Jonah 4:7). In Naaman’s time, it was a little Israelitish maiden (II Kings 5:2). Moses before Pharaoh had a small shepherd’s rod (Exodus 4:2). David’s tiny slingshot killed giant Goliath (I Samuel 17:40).
And here in Proverbs 30, we have four of God’s tiny creatures, found in the Holy Land, who teach both Christians and non-Christians a number of important lessons.
- The Ants (v. 25). Small, weak creatures, but wise and productive. Without any calendars, they eagerly lay-up supplies they will need when the winter snow comes. Here is the wisdom of preparation. The Boy and Girl Scout’s motto, “Be Prepared” has it right. We prepare for the future through such things as insurance policies, social security, and retirement plans in case we become disabled or too old to continue working. But with all our human plans and programs for this earthly life, why do so many people fail to prepare for eternity? The ant preaches: “Flee from the wrath to come.” If some do not respond soon, it will be too late, and they will enter eternity without hope and without God.
- The Badgers (v. 26). These little animals are small like rabbits with short ears, no tail, and are officially known as rock badgers. They look like overgrown guinea They are feeble and defenseless creatures God designed to hide in the crevices of rocks. The message from the badgers is: “find your hiding place.” Jesus is our Rock of Ages. He is our hiding place from the storms of life and dangers God’s people encounter. Page through any church hymnal and you will find several hymns that point out this truth: “Rock of Ages,” “Hiding in Thee, “O Safe to the Rock,” and “There is place of quiet rest, near to the heart of God” to name a few. The Psalmist wrote: “Hide me in the shadow of your wings.” Are you resting in the Lord as you serve Him?
- The Locusts (V. 27). Locusts belong to the same family as crickets, grasshoppers, and cockroaches. They have no leader, but they swarm in great numbers. They have been known to extend ten to twelve miles, blotting out the sun, and causing temporary darkness. The sound of their wings is terrible (Joel 2:2), and they have been known to land as deep as eighteen inches. Locusts devour everything in their paths. They work in unity which is a picture of what Christ’s Church ought to be. It is sad to see the church of today with its numerous divisions, splits, and closings. A number of these, where truth is at stake, are God-approved divisions. But when personalities clash, and the sins of jealousy, pride, and politics prevail, it is a sad testimony to an unbelieving and skeptical world. Paul’s advice in I Corinthians 1:10 GW is worth studying: “Brothers and sisters, I encourage all of you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to agree with each other and not to split into opposing groups. I want you to be united in your understanding and opinions.”
- The Lizards (v. 28). This word in Hebrew means house lizards, a member of the reptile family. Their hands and feet are divinely designed to climb up smooth surfaces, even marble walls. They are small enough to hold in your hand, but are in king’s houses. These creatures teach us about faith, the kind of faith that takes hold of the promises of God. Faith is the hand of the heart. As we lay hold of Christ who is Eternal Life, we are accepted in the beloved and given a place of position and prominence in the heavenlies (Ephesian 2:4-7). It is our privilege to dwell with Christ and someday we will live with Him in our eternal home in heaven. Beloved, do not give up or be discouraged. Do not be weary in well-doing. If we wait on the Lord, He will renew our faith (Isaiah 40:31).
God has plainly given us timely messages from these tiny animals. Like the ant, there is wisdom in preparing for eternity and keeping busy for the Lord. Like the badger, wise indeed are those who have Christ as their everlasting Refuge, a Rock in the midst of a dry and weary land. There is wisdom in working together like locusts. And wise are the persons who lay hold of Christ by faith. For them there is reserved a home in Heaven! What life lessons have you received from these tiny creatures? How will they affect your testimony?