The Harvester Ants

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 7
"Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest." Prov. 6:6-86Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: 7Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, 8Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. (Proverbs 6:6‑8)
Ants in many areas find abundant food year-round and do not need to store it. But many ants do store food, among them the harvester ants. They use seeds as their main source of food, but also add termites and other insects to their diet.
To be sure they have enough to eat in the months when food becomes scarce, these ants "provideth [their] meat in the summer, and gathereth [their] food in the harvest" (Prov. 6:55Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler. (Proverbs 6:5)). They collect seeds and store them in special chambers within their nests. Certain workers are assigned to this specific duty. When the seeds are brought to the nest, the husks are removed and carried outside to a garbage pile. If any of the stored seeds begin to spoil or sprout, they are immediately removed. If some seeds become damp, the ants promptly take them outside to dry in the sun. When dry, they are brought back into storage. This food supply is guarded very carefully, and the ants do not rob the store while there is still food to be had outside.
Since the ants are not able to swallow solid food, God has given them a means of changing dry seeds into what is known as "ant bread." This is produced by first chewing the seeds, then making a little pile of this chewed food and covering it with juices from their digestive systems. This makes it liquid enough to sip.
All of this, of course, is God's order for these little creatures, which He refers to as being "exceeding wise." The Word of God uses them as an example for ourselves, telling us also to prepare for the future. There is more meaning for us in such a lesson than only storing up food to eat. God urges us to think of a coming eternity and to prepare for it now, before the "summer" of our lives is past.
The sorrow of those who fail to prepare for an eternity in heaven is heard in the awful cry, "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved [for heaven]!" (Jer. 8:2020The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. (Jeremiah 8:20)). Do not let this be your cry. You must realize that you are a sinner and in need of a Savior. By faith you have to accept Jesus' work on Calvary's cross and His precious blood that he shed there to wash away your sins "while it is called today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin" (Heb. 3:1313But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:13)).