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Be Hardworking Like the Ant
Proverbs 6:6 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
6 Go to the ant, O sluggard;
consider her ways, and be wise.
Go to the ant, O sluggard: Here go (הָלַךְ halak) does not mean to travel from one place to another but rather to go observe and learn from the ant. In other words, go watch and observe how the ants live to learn a lesson about laziness. The ant is likely a reference to the harvester ant, also known as the agricultural ant found in the eastern Mediterranean area as well as many other areas of the world. While ant is used in the singular in the Hebrew, it is in a collective sense. The advice is not to watch one single ant but rather to watch an entire colony of ants at work.
Consider her ways and be wise: Here consider (רָאָה raah) means to look at, to observe or watch, to reflect on, to take into consideration, as you make judgments based your newfound awareness. While ant is in the feminine, be wise in the Hebrew (חָכַם chakam) is a command in the masculine to acquire and exercise good judgment and understanding, showing oneself to be wise, which is addressed to the sluggard.
Notably, the ant instinctively preparing for the future being persistent and determined, as they carry or tenaciously drag objects in an unwavering manner, which weigh twice their own weight or even more, as they do everything possible to carry out their demanding task. They also refuse to turn back even when there is a chance that they may fall, slide, or roll down what seems like to them some very steep rock face or cliff. They are exceptionally helpful and supportive as they carry out their work. They also keep their nests very clean, and they demonstrate worry, being anxious for their fellow workers, even helping injured or exhausted ants back to the nest.
Man is the wisest creature on earth, yet he is so mentally bent toward evil with a treacherous heart that he needs to learn lessons from the plants, insects, and beasts. When we pause to observe the other creations on earth, we glorify God in all his wisdom and at the same time receive instruction on how we might carry out our lives. We need to consider (רָאָה raah), something the sluggard does not do, the creation around us if we are to learn the intention of God either in the Word or his works. Just as we are to observe and imitate persons such as the apostle Paul (Phil. 3:17) and other important Bible characters, and especially Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 2:21), we must consider the ways of other parts of creation, like the ant, and carefully observe what they do, so that we may also do similarly.
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