“Go to the ant you sluggard, consider its ways and be wise. A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of hands to rest, and poverty will come to you like a thief, and scarcity like an armed man” – Prov 6:6-11 (NIV)
There is a lot of interesting literature out there how individuals and nations can fight poverty. After all, who wants to be poor? So much of that literature tends to focus on how someone else was the cause of the poverty, like the effects of colonialism. In response governments are obligated to do something, such as giving out free handouts, to free people from wrenching poverty.
Very often though no one talks of the fact that to overcome poverty one has to learn to work. The ants referred to in the scripture passage today are certainly one of the richest in the insect world. They take over territories and raise up castles of anthills. They have been at it for millennials. They are not beggars. There are conquerors.
One persistent aspect of their insect life is work. The ants are out every single moment working to build up their towers. On the other hand many of us who have our hands stretched looking out for help are not picking up this simple lesson of life ever around us. That to get ahead one must work.
Surely government programmes can help fight poverty. But take away the idea of work, and you have missed the point.
Prayer for today: Lord Father in heaven, today I pray in the mighty name of Jesus of Nazareth that you help me discover the truth that the number one way to fight and overcome poverty is through work.