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Learning from Little Ones

December 19, 2023

Today we read Prov 30:24-33 which directs our attention to the wisdom that appears to undergird and sustain four little creatures - ants, hyraxes (i.e., rock-badgers), locusts, and lizards. “Small” does not mean foolish. In His creation, God has programmed into these creatures unique abilities which the writer suggests we should study and emulate. Here, the Wisdom behind the wisdom is what is important for our learning. Ants, though small and weak, provide for their own future by making effective use of their time and resources. Hyraxes, also vulnerable, look after their own safety by finding places to live which are safe for them but not safe for others. Locusts pool their resources to achieve together what would be difficult for them to acquire separately. Finally, lizards roam freely about – unconcerned and fending for themselves. Lizards are able to enter into places where few people would ever be invited or found. God’s point is this: humans, who have free will and un-programmed intellect, can and should learn to apply what comes naturally and instinctively to these much smaller creatures which succeed at living in a world harsher than ours. Indeed, man is a stately creature, but all his dignity is wasted when he “plays the fool, plans evil, or stirs up anger” (verse 32). As “surely as churning cream produces butter” (verse 33), that man will “strive” at living life.

In Revelation 9:13 - 10:11, we read about the sounding of the sixth trumpet and its result - the unleashing of the four bound angels at the Euphrates River, which is much in the news lately. The Euphrates River is drying up. This unleashing opens the way for the 200-million-man army from the east to march against Israel and to destroy a third of mankind (cf., Revelation 9:15-18). In chapter 10, we are told that “there is to be no more delay” in bringing about the end - “the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet” (verse 7), which will occur in 11:15. Then, “the mystery of God will be accomplished” (verse 7).

In Ezra 2:68 - 4:5, we see the free will offerings the people gave for construction of a new temple, “according to the law of Moses” (verse 2). Construction was to begin by prioritizing first things first - the rebuilding of the altar - so the people could sacrifice their offerings to the LORD (3:6). The returned exiles were committed to worship God properly. Only “then” (3:7) did they begin to lay the foundation for the temple. We see the respective effect this had on young and old alike - loud, indistinguishable rejoicing and simultaneous weeping (3:13). Tears of joy about being back in the land and seeing the construction of the temple, but tears of sorrow over the memories of past sins and their resultant exile from the land. In chapter 4:1-5, we see Israel’s enemies attempting to work against them as they build the temple. We must beware from this that our enemies will always attempt to deceive us and distract us from our goals to honor our Lord. May God empower us daily with His wisdom and discernment.

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