Small But Wise
24 Four things on earth are small,
but they are exceedingly wise:
25 the ants are a people not strong,
yet they provide their food in the summer;
26 the rock badgers are a people not mighty,
yet they make their homes in the cliffs;
27 the locusts have no king,
yet all of them march in rank;
28 the lizard you can take in your hands,
yet it is in kings’ palaces. – Prov. 30:24-28
Teaching the book of Proverbs this spring has sparked in me a renewed interest in these intriguing text messages from God.
The above text is written in a riddle/numerical format. In our modern manner of writing and communicating, we are not conversant with this form. But this isn’t difficult. Four images are put before us but there is really only one point. That one point is right on the page in front of us: “small but … exceedingly wise!” That’s it.
Ants, badgers, locusts and lizards do not compare in size to elephants or horses. That doesn’t make the smaller creatures inferior.
Now just pause there and consider what a powerful bit of wisdom that is. Small but not inferior. Small people, small churches, small audiences, small families – are not inferior to big people, big churches, big audiences and big families. Perhaps this isn’t really a profound theological discovery or a recently found moral truth. Yet this is something true and practical that deserves to be within our perspective.
Digging just a little deeper into the proverbial saying, each little creature is praised for some specific task or value. Ants team up to provide their food. Rock badgers have located good real estate in the cliffs. One locust may not intimidate a farmer or landowner, but when they unite and march in rank, look out! And, those little lizards (not the insurance spokesman). Here in the Rio Grande Valley, you cannot build a home that keeps lizards out. Even if you build a “kings’ palace,” they can get in.
Don’t be intimidated by your size. Don’t be discouraged if nobody knows or compliments the good you do. Do what God has equipped you to do. Do it with all your heart. Get past the words “big” and “small,” and just apply God’s wisdom to your life. -web