The Ant and the Grasshopper

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The Bible says in Proverbs 6 verses 6 to 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.”

We may not know what a “sluggard” is, but we do know what he or she does. The Bible tells us they sleep or slumber too long. We get the word ‘sluggish’ from it. Another word we would use would be ‘lazy’ or ‘slothful’. This is a person who is happy to live off other people. Others work hard, but they take it easy. They fold their hands and expect everything to be done for them. The Bible says, ‘poverty will come upon them like a prowler.’

There was once a famous story teller called Aesop who said the same thing in a story called “The Ant And The Grasshopper”. A grasshopper was hopping around and playing in a field on a warm sunny summers day, when he notices an ant passing by, struggling along with an ear of corn on his way back to the anthill. The grasshopper asked the ant to come hang out with him and have a talk, instead of working so hard on such a nice day. But the ant replies that he is helping put away food for the winter, and cannot stop and do nothing. As the ant continued on it’s way, the grasshopper called out after him, ‘Why bother about winter? There is plenty of food to be had all around us right now!’, but the ant just continued dragging the food to his home to store back for winter; a time when food was no longer available.

Sure enough, the winter came, and the grasshopper is now starving and dying. He remembered back to that day when he saw the ant, busily gathering up food and saving it up for the coming winter. It was at this point that the grasshopper, who had been a “sluggard” in the summer, suddenly understood he did not prepare when he had the time to do so.

If we learn to listen to God, we will not be caught out like the “sluggard” or the grasshopper. God’s word says, “redeem the time for the days are evil.” We are surrounded by temptations that lead us astray. We have a sinful nature that is eager to follow those temptations. All these things make our days evil. Jesus said, “Come unto Me, and learn of Me.” The only ones who are safe in these evil days, are those who make the most of their time by coming to Christ, and learning from Him.