12/27/16: Wisdom from Nature
I’m a city child. I was raised in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California, the second largest city in the United States, and the 18th largest in the world. I appreciate the conveniences of city life, but I regret having only rare opportunities to enjoy God’s creation in wide open spaces. Even so, there are some things about nature we can appreciate just by sitting still and observing how God has wired insects and small animals. The writer of Proverbs gives us a little insight in this area. Proverbs 30:24-28 says, “There are four things which are little on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise: The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer; the rock badgers are a feeble folk, yet they make their homes in the crags; the locusts have no king, yet they all advance in ranks; the spider skillfully grasps with its hands, and it is in kings’ palaces.”
First, there is wisdom from tiny ants. They may be small and weak, but they are smart enough to “prepare their food in the summer” realizing that the scarcity of winter is coming. How much better off would many of us be if we’d learn the lesson of the ant? Seasons always change, so it’s smart to save when things are good against the inevitable bad times.
Second, there is wisdom from rock badgers. We know this little animal as the rock hyrax, that believe it or not, is part of the elephant family. It’s a funny little animal that has tusks, several stomachs (but doesn’t chew the cud), and pads on its feet that act as suction cups to keep it from falling off of the rocks on which it lives. According to wired.com/creature feature, this little animal “likes to hang out in rock formations and the seemingly inhospitable nooks on sheer cliff faces. Rock hyraxes are gregarious, living in colonies of up to 80 individuals. [It] spends about 95 percent of its time resting. This can involve heaping, in which animals pile on top of each other inside a den, or basking in the sun.” Since these little guys know themselves, they choose their living environment to best protect themselves and their families. Do we know ourselves well enough to choose the right places to live?
Third, there is wisdom from the locusts. They “have no king, yet they all advance in ranks.” Without any perceptible leader, a swarm of locusts simply takes over an area, devastating everything edible in its path. Are we able to agree enough in any group in order to work in unity to get things done?
Finally, there is wisdom from the spider. The proverb states that it ‘skillfully grasps with its hands, and it is in kings’ palaces.” Are we able to quietly use our gifts to patiently perfect what we need to build?
Being prepared, choosing where to settle, working in unity, and using our gifts: these are the lessons of wisdom that we learn from the four nature observances listed in this proverb. Let’s take these lessons to heart today, and remain alert to other truths God has placed all around us in His creation.
©2016 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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