March 19, 2018

The Zeal of the Ant

Proverbs 6:6-11; Romans 12:3-18

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

—  Romans 12:11

You can’t stop ants from doing their work. No matter how many times you sweep away the sand they’ve muscled through the cracks in your driveway, you can do it again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.

Ants are vocationally fulfilled; like the birds of the air, they do not have a care in the world. God cares for them; all they care about is doing what God made them to do. But God cares for us even more than the ants and the birds. And he equips us, like them, to give our all to do diligently what he has created us to do—to love him above all and our neighbor as ourselves.

With God’s help, we can love sincerely, as Paul instructs. We can “hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” We can “be devoted to one another in love” and “honor one another” above ourselves. “Never be lacking in zeal,” says Paul, “but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” Hospitality, patience, sharing with others, living in harmony, and other positive traits are listed as important to a Christian who is trying to serve the Lord. We are also called to live at peace with everyone.

This is a challenging task. It is fulltime work. But God’s gifts will simply overwhelm spiritual carelessness because, like the ant, we’ll have enough to do from morning till night. And we can do it again the next day, and the next.

Thank you, Lord for equipping us to do your good will all day long, and every day, in Christ’s name. Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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