Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.
- Proverbs 6.6
He fixed the Psalms, he made known the books of Law...the books of Solomon, he followed them. Seasons and calculations he set in motion. He separated the elements according to figures among the books of the Law. He read mysteries and distributed the Scriptures among the schools, and he put together the harmony concerning the course of the moon, the course which it ran with the sun, and the course of the sea. He could number the stars of heaven, the one who could tell all the rest which we have heard from Colum Cille.
- Dallán Forgáill, Amra Choluimb Cille, Irish, 6th century
The greatest of the Irish scholar-saints were renowned for their familiarity with the twin books of divine revelation, Scripture and creation. They took the former as foundational, diligently studying and copying Scripture from their youth, reading the ancient commentators, and learning to handle the Word of God for personal growth and ministry. But they also learned from Scripture the importance of knowing God through the things He has made.
Thus, they were diligent students as well of the creation, studying the patterns of stars, winds, ocean currents, tides, and seasons, and the unique properties of individual species of flora and fauna. Celtic Christians understood that God was speaking to them through the creation, and they were determined to hear His voice there as clearly as they did in His Word.
The time spent observing the ways of ants can yield wisdom for those inclined to sloth. Solomon knew from Scripture that men were made to work and to be diligent in providing for their needs day by day, and he found that lesson effectively illustrated in the ways of the ant.
If only we had eyes to see and ears to hear, we might discover whispers of divine revelation throughout the course of our daily lives. There are innumerable lessons, illustrations, clarifications, and reinforcing images of Scriptural truth to be known in the things of creation, culture, and the conscience. All we have to do is be willing to take the time, observe carefully, and integrate our observations with what we know from the Word of God.
If God is speaking to us through the ants, what might He be trying to say through the larger issues, events, situations, objects, and artifacts of our everyday world?
God is speaking through two books. Will we hear His voice in both?
Psalm 145.10-12 (Brother James’ Air: “The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want”)
Your works shall thank You; all Your saints shall bless and praise You, Lord.
Your reign we bless without restraint; Your power fills our words.
Our children we shall educate in all Your splendor, Lord!