The sluggard is commanded to go look at an insect. But this particular insect, the ant, has much to teach him. The ant is a remarkable creature who exercises foresight, industry, and economy in what it does. The sluggard has none of these things. The word sluggard simply means a lazy, useless one. The interesting thing is what this laziness is associated with in Scripture. It is associated with moral failure - with getting nothing out of life - with tardiness - and with arrogance and pride.
God tells the sluggard to go observe the ant, to see what the ant does. The ways of the ant are what are to be viewed - and that takes us back to her industry, her hard work, her discipline to get things done at the proper time. The sluggard is told that if he would emulate the ant - he would become wise.
It would be easy for us to look at the sluggard and judge him. But before we are too hasty we might want to take a look at ourselves and see if there are any similarities. The current state of Christianity too often mirrors the sluggard. As a society we have more free time than just about any other society before us - and yet our ignorance of the Scritpures is astounding. Things like television, movies, and a thousand other pursuits dominate our lives while the work of the kingdom often languishes for workers. We approach children's and youth sports with an almost religious fervor - as well as any other activity that we can do for our children. Yet when it comes to our children being taught the things of the Lord - we yet languish again. For all our free time it is interesting to note that one of the most oft heard complaints I experience is that our families and individuals struggle with the pace and hectic nature of their lives.
Maybe we too can learn a great deal from the ant and her ways? Maybe we should observe her and learn - and become wise?