“Go to the ant thou sluggard…”
This aphorism gives us a picture of one of the hardest working creatures…the ant. The ant ought to be an example to Christians as it is hard-working (v. 8) future oriented (v. 8) and self-governed (v. 7). Thus the ant by its diligence and hard-work prospers while the sluggard who is content with sleeping and letting life pass him by, who folds his hands (v. 10) is brought to naught or poverty (v. 11). Thus the ant is a postmillennialist and the sluggard a premillennialist! For the ant, hard-work brings home the bread; for the sluggard sleep will eventually bring home the bread because the future is gloom and bleak.
The sluggard also represents a radical form of pietism. Pietism hates the down-to-earth, mundane things that we must do in order to thrive. They don’t emphasize work, business, politics, economics, education, etc. because they are “earthly [possibly sinful] endeavors”. Instead the pietists speak about prayer, prayer and prayer. Both the sluggard and the pietist share one thing in common…folding their hands for hours!
Although in this proverb we do not read of the sluggard going to the ant after a crisis comes the logical assumption is that that is exactly what the sluggard will do. Some Christians have this mentality as well when they say “God will provide for the future” which literally translates to “When a crisis comes, I will be at the doorpost of one who did prepare and ask them for charitable help because that is their Christian duty”. Shame on us for not being ants!
Taken from my notes on Gary North’s Economic Commentary…