Proverbs 6:6-11, “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep — So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, And your need like an armed man.”
The ant. The industrious worker of the insect and also the animal world. All for the queen, ants will work themselves to death to please their queen. They will gather food, provide protection, make strongholds and do it all for one ant. Also, all ants in a colony come from one queen ant. There is a lot to learn from the ant.
Like the ant, there are so many people who work and work and work. Their queen is the dollar bill. They will do anything for the dollar bill. We build banks to store money, safes to hold money in our homes, and carry money on our person to pay for things. Money is worshipped by the world as the rich are revered and the poor are down-trodden.
There are also the people who do not work. I am not saying the people who try to find work. I am talking about the people who refuse to work. Refuse to do anything and expect everything to be handed to them. This is who Proverbs 6:6 is talking to. The sluggard. The one who will not get off their gluteus maximus. The writer states that these people should look to the ant. Look to the hard work and desire to do that. Get up!
We are all to look at this and think about how much we are doing. There is such a thing as working too much. This takes away from family, friends, and most importantly, God. There are those who work too little. They expect others to care for them and are not honoring God. We must find a happy medium. Time for work and time for God. A perfect balance, which is wisdom.
In the Bible times, if you did not plow the field, plant the field and harvest the field, you did not eat. Those who did not work did not eat. They became beggars, looking for scraps. Looking for a handout. Looking for the care from others instead of helping themselves. Though attributed to Benjamin Franklin, it was Algernon Sidney (English politician from the 1600s) who said, “God helps those who help themselves.” Although you will not find this in the Bible, it invites us to look closer at helping ourselves to receive blessings from God.
Those who sleep too much also do not accomplish much. I like sleep; I really do. I wish I could sleep more. I know, though, that I must work to provide for my family. I must get up out of bed and do something. Those who do not leave the bed do not earn money (unless you have a way of making money for sleeping that I do not know about). A little sleep is good. There are studies to how much sleep is required. I understand this but I also understand that God wants us to rise up in the morning and do work. I used to work on a farm where I was up when it was light outside and in bed when it was dark. This usually meant 12+ hour-long days of hard work. This is what we should look to. Work that is both rewarding and can provide a wage to care for you and others you care for.
Do not resist work. Do resist oversleeping. It can be tempting to oversleep but resist it. Get up. Get busy. Make money. Remember though, do not work so much that you make money your god instead of God. Money is good and needed but too much money can become a problem. Just as God rested on day 7 of creation, you need rest too. Remember though, God worked for 6 days before that 1 day of rest. Work much, rest little. A time and a season for both. Make sure that poverty does not sneak up and get you. Be like the ant.
Thank You for balance. Balance between work and sleep. We know that You provided us the example of how to work and how to rest. I pray that we use this example in our lives so that we can work and still have time to rest, spend time with loved ones and other activities. Help to motivate those who need it and help those who are motivated as well. We thank You and praise You for all that You are and all that You do. Let us be more like the ant. Busy, not too busy. Making sure to give You the time that You deserve,
In Your name we pray,