Observations and Highlights
Warnings against foolish behavior
1. Go to the ant..... (v6-11)
My parents are West Indian and one of the things I can remember growing up is my mother saying to us children, in her very strong Bajan accent, "Go to the ant thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise.” Back then, I didn’t know what a sluggard was, but it didn’t sound good. I did not want to be a sluggard. She always said this before we were given some new task to do. I think because of this verse we learned to embroider one summer, learned to crochet the next, I tried my hand at sewing because she sewed, and of course, chores - there were always chores. Clean the house, clean the bedrooms, the bathrooms, cook, mop, clean, etc. We weren't allowed to be idle or bored. She wanted us to be industrious - I'd have to say it worked. Thanks mum.
What are the ways of the ant? They are very small, yet they are a force to be reckoned with. They do what needs to be done, without a leader or anyone providing instruction. They anticipate for times of need and plan accordingly. They put away when there's plenty so that when there's little they are prepared. They understand the seasons of life - you may not always have excess, so plan ahead. Sleeping is overrated - sleep when you need to and then work while you are awake.
2. Troublemakers ultimately get what they deserve, and sometimes it’s suddenly and with no warning. (v 12-15) Every behavior has a consequence and troublemakers are not exempt from this principle. As a matter of fact, because they are quick to stir up trouble, their consequences may be swift and untimely. Don’t be a troublemaker.
3. Seven things that the Lord hates (v 17-19)
1. A proud look
2. A lying tongue
3. Hands that shed innocent blood
4. A heart that creates wicked schemes
5. Feet swift to run after mischief
6. A false witness
7. One that creates discord
Have you ever looked at this list before? There are a couple of things about this list that stands out to me:
· I don't like these things either. If it's good enough for the Lord then it’s good enough for me.
· If you're a parent, these are behaviors you want your children to avoid; you may not say it in these terms but I don’t know one parent who wants their child to be a lying, scheming, manipulative, trouble making murderer and be proud of it.
· God is the ultimate parent; He has our best interests at heart.
· These are anti-social behaviors; if you have friends that display these characteristics eventually you remove yourself from them.
4. Can a man take fire in his bosom and not be burned? (v 27) Last but not least - don't cheat on your spouse.
There's so much meat in this chapter - I'll have to revisit it at some point in the future.
Hang in there with me - keep reading and growing.