10 Studies in Proverbs: 9
Study 9 FOUR WISE LITTLE THINGS
(Key-verses: Proverbs 30:24-28)
In this chapter there are six sets of four things: four generations that are evil (11-14); four things that are insatiable (15-16); four things that are inscrutable (18-19); four things that are intolerable (21-23); four things that are weak, yet wise (24-28), and four things that are very stately (29-31). We shall consider verses 24-28 – the ants, conies, locusts and the lizard, or spider (KJV). These tell us four things about God’s people:
- God does not despise one of His little ones. These four are all very small. You may feel very insignificant, of no importance, but God even has His eye on the sparrow (Matthew 10:29-31), and He certainly cares for you (Matthew 18:10-14).
- God’s people are a small and a minority group. Notice what Jesus once said to His own disciples (Luke 12:32); and on another occasion a question was asked in Luke 13:23. In these verses are the words ‘small’, ‘little strength’ or ‘little power’ – compare Matthew 7:13-14 with 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 – and Revelation 5:11!
- God’s people are very wise. According to verse 24 they are “extremely wise” – look up 2 Timothy 3:15; despised by the world but how wise in God’s sight!
- God’s people are on the earth. Verse 24 says that these creatures are ‘on earth’ – true of us too. We are not yet in heaven – look up John 16:33.
Let’s notice why it is that God’s people are “extremely wise”.
- 1. Because of the preparation they make
In verse 25 we read that the ants “store up their food in the summer”; they are not strong, but how wise they are, preparing for the dark, cold winter days ahead! Many people have this instinct regarding material things: they make provision for the future, but in many cases the men and women who show such remarkable foresight in personal and business matters make little or no preparation for eternity! They are like the rich farmer (Luke 12:16-21). Have you prepared for death and for eternity? – look up Hebrews 9:27 and then compare 1 Peter 1:3-5. What a glorious thing it is to have an inheritance that can never perish or wear out; it is pure and doesn’t fade away, so nothing can affect its permanence – and to have all this reserved in heaven!
- 2. Because of the protection they enjoy
We read that the conies are feeble “yet they make their home in the crags”. A coney is like a small rabbit, rather defenceless, but it lives in the clefts of rocks – not on the rocks themselves but in the rocks. The picture is clear: God’s people are like this. They have no defence against the righteous judgment of a holy God (John 3:18, 36); they have no power against Satan and sin (2 Corinthians 4:4); their only refuge is in the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who is the Rock of Ages. Jesus is the sinner’s refuge (Proverbs 18:10), the saint’s refuge (Psalm 27:5), the servant’s refuge (Psalm 143:8-9), and the soldier’s refuge (Ephesians 6:10,13). Do you see those little conies? They are running. Why? Because danger is near. Where are they running to? They are running to their house in the rocks. See those Christians? What are they doing, and where are they hiding? – look up Proverbs 18:10 and Isaiah 32:2. But there is a third reason why God’s people are wise:
- 3. Because of the partnership they share
Verse 27 tells us that although the locusts have no king “yet they advance together in ranks”. Locusts always go together; they are never lone workers. They usually work in hundreds of thousands. They fly together and the whole sky is darkened, and when they land on vegetation every blade of grass and every bit of growth is stripped away in no time. They have no visible leader yet they are all working with one aim and under strict discipline. Here is a picture of the Church in the world. We have no visible head, no visible king, yet we do have a Head – even our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:23; 1 Timothy 6:15). He is not visible because He is in heaven; and we, His people (like the locusts), band together and work together (2 Corinthians 6:1). This is the partnership we share and the fellowship we enjoy – look up and compare Mark 16:19-20; Acts 4:23; 1 John 1:3. What a privilege it is to be a Christian and to have fellowship with God’s people in prayer, in worship, in suffering, in giving, and in service! This is “partnership in the gospel” (Philippians 1:5).
- 4. Because of the position they occupy
Verse 28 tells us that the lizard, or spider, “can be caught with the hand, yet it is found in kings’ palaces”. This surely speaks of the spider’s persistence, patience and perseverance, and likes to go even in kings’ palaces! This tells us about her exalted position. What is the position that we occupy as Christians? – look at Ephesians 2:4-7 for the answer. The Lord Jesus has gone up into heaven as our representative, and we who belong to Him are there ‘in Him’. He is our victorious Lord and we are united with Him in His victory (Romans 8:37); we share His life – this is the position we occupy! Notice, however, that we are to accept and experience all this by faith. Like the little spider, we are to take hold with our hands; in other words, we are to reckon this to be true – look up Colossians 3:1-2 and see how Paul puts it there!
This, then, is the message of the ants, conies, locusts and the lizard, or spider. They speak to us of God’s people: their preparation, protection, partnership and position – they are “extremely wise”!
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