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GOD’S WORD FOR JULY 16 ~ ~ Proverbs 6:6 “Go to the ant, you lazy one, Observe its ways and be wise,”

How many ants are there in the world? No one has actually counted them all or asked them to fill out little ant census forms. However, scientists have estimated that there are about 10 million billion ants in the world, waiting for you to have a picnic. That’s more ants than there are mammals, reptiles, birds, and amphibians combined.

God made so many ants because ants are important housekeepers for the earth. Ants, not earthworms, turn most of the world’s soil, drain it, and enrich it. Ants dispose of 90% of the corpses of small dead animals. As the world’s gardeners, ants spread and plant more seeds than any other creature.

Like bees, ants have a sophisticated society, which includes workers, nurses, soldiers, hunters, farmers, and even builders. Each of these different classes have specialized organs for their work. The soldier ants of one species are walking bombs. They are loaded with poison and literally explode when under attack, spraying poison on their enemies. Army ants in Central and South America march across the countryside in a line that can be nearly 50 feet long. The solid column sweeps along, flushing out even small animals, as it looks for food.

The huge variety of living things around us represents more than simply variety. That variety carefully includes creatures to do every job that needs to be done to maintain life on earth. This, in itself, is a witness to both the creativity and wisdom of the Creator.

Honeydew is one of the favorite foods of ants. There are a number of insects, including thorn bugs and aphids, who consume so much honeydew that they cannot digest it all. These insects are designed so that ants can milk them for the excess honeydew, much like a farmer milks a cow.

Many species of ants will milk the honeydew-collecting insect by stroking its abdomen with its antennae. The tree hopper actually slows its secretion of excess honeydew to the milking ant so that the ant may drink his honeydew “fresh from the cow” so to speak.

Some ants construct clay pens and shelters in which they enclose certain species of aphids, just as a farmer keeps his herd. Like the farmer, the ants move the aphids to better honeydew feeding sites when necessary. They also care for the aphid eggs during the winter.

Herding ants are even better able to protect a young tree hopper than its parents. It is not unusual for a tree hopper parent to turn her young over to herding ants because they can do more for the young insect than she can. Again, this is like farmers. Farmers can take better care of the calf without fear of predators or stress on the cow.

Such complex relationships between creatures points to a God who is both Creator and Teacher—even to insects! How much more could He teach us about all areas if we would spend more quiet and devoted time with Him and His Word!!!

Thank You, Father, that You are so loving, You care for even the tiny ant, and teach them Your perfect ways! Thank You that Your creation listens and obeys You. Teach us Your perfect ways, please, and help us to know You so well that we will hear and understand. We praise You for all we know about You through Your Word, and for so much more that we don’t know about You. In the name and power of Jesus Christ, we pray this.

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