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.
Solomon’s teaching is full of irony and of perspectives that highlight human weaknesses. From the human perspective, the ant is small and lowly and can at times even become a pest. But what would a diligent ant think (if it could think) of a human being who was not even as wise or self-disciplined as an ant?
God built the instinct to prepare for the future into these tiny creatures as an example to us. They don’t need a boss standing over them to force them to work. They busily work for their ant colony when no one is watching. They don’t stop working because of the heat of the summer, and they keep working until the job is done.
What would happen if the ants didn’t work so diligently? In a bad year, their colony would not survive. In the same way, the lazy person and his family would be in mortal danger (verse 11). Nature is a powerful, if pointed, teacher.
To learn more about the wisdom found in the Bible, read the article about Proverbs.