6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
7 Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
8 Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?
10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.
I like the obvious meaning of this passage. A person who is self-motivated and works hard will prosper while those who refuse to work hard will come into poverty. That is generally true, though not always. Some people work hard and never seem to get ahead in life. Some people work hard and accrue large amounts of wealth. There are numerous reasons for this gap and there are differing ideas about how our system of government and economics should deal with these issues.
I know the talking points from the two main sides of the argument (by two sides I mean from a Left Wing and Right Wing perspective, or a Capitalist and Marxist perspective, relatively speaking) but I don’t know enough to weigh it all and come up with my own opinion. As with most things, I suspect that I’d come to the conclusion that both sides have valid points and both sides have faults, then the next step would be to create a third idea that brings a balanced perspective while placing the teachings of Jesus at the center.
I guess I’m arrogant enough to think that I could create solutions to many problems if I simply knew enough. There is danger in that, isn’t there? It is dangerous for man to throw any system down because that which rises next could be infinitely worse. I suspect that if our current way of life in the West is overthrown, the system that arises will be hell on earth. All the promises of peace, equality, and prosperity will prove to be nothing but flattery and lies, because the spirit at work within this new system is satanic.
It is a good thing that Jesus will be the one to make all things right. Though there is a time and place for patriotism, all nations are vanity to God. To Him, all systems of man are nothing and they will come to nothing. This is for our good. However, the process will be painful to say the least. To that end, I want to think about another way we might consider the above passage.
In the previous writing, we considered sleep in terms of spiritual sleep, and we were encouraged to awaken to the Christian calling more fully.
If we are serious about the things of Jesus, He will feed us “meet in the summer.” His word will teach us, strengthen us, and prepare us for the “winter” which is a season of spiritual darkness—that time when the great system of man descends upon the whole earth. This system will bring poverty, not just in the literal sense—but most importantly—in the spiritual sense because Jesus is made darkness by way of the false Christ and Christianity is made bloody by way of the Great Whore.
“The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.” This could be literal, of course, but that is not the only meaning here.
We do not want to be taken in by this deception. Should we fold our hands and sleep, thinking that no harm will come to us? Or, should we rise and prepare?
This makes me think about the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (Matthew 25). In that parable we see the coming of Jesus. We should prepare for His return, and in so doing we find ourselves also prepared for the coming of the greatest deception ever to occur in this world: the coming of the false Christ. How do we prepare? We put Jesus first. We learn of His ways through scripture and friendship with other dedicated Christians. We learn to trust in Him.
All the worldly things we trust in will fall. The false Christ will promise to restore all things, but His ways are deceit, flattery, and all the devises of the “strange woman” as we previously discussed.
It is good to think about the difference between the ways of Satan and the ways of Jesus, both in the church and in the world at large. It is good to separate ourselves from all paths of the “strange woman” and align ourselves with Jesus so we become as His bride should be.
All things are working according to His will and all things are for the ultimate good of those who love Him. Once all wickedness is caught in the net they made, Jesus will return and throw it all down. Only then will we see the Kingdom of Heaven come. However, we can see the kingdom come now in heart, and with Jesus ruling us in spirit we are made strong against the greatest of deceptions and calamities. We need to be awake and ready.
The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins
Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh (Matthew 25:1-13).
The call has gone out—the call has always gone out. The call has rung sure from the time Jesus was resurrected form the dead. We are always in a sort of “last days.” We only have this life. Whatever should come, being filled with Jesus makes us so that we are able to stand. Should we be destroyed along with the overthrow of man’s devices, we know that Jesus will raise us up. Death has no real power over us.
So, we should not sleep. We are not dead, but alive in Jesus. Let us awaken and be alive.
What about myself? I know that one of the surest paths to deceit is pride and thinking that we know everything already. If we want to be “wise virgins” then we should understand how much we lack.
I want to continue to seek what is true, good, and pleasing to Jesus. I never want to assume that I have it all figured out or that I could fix things. I never want to assume that my walk with Jesus is good enough as it is. There is always room for growth. I will not trust in teachings that say otherwise. I will trust in the mercy and patience of Jesus, but out of respect for His blood I will continue to seek Him so long as He will allow me to do so. This is the grace of God towards those who believe in Him.
We are not better than anyone else. We have all been foolish and we are all still foolish. We all need more wisdom, and Jesus is the way.