Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise: the ants are not a strong people, yet they store up their food in the summer; hyraxes are not a mighty people, yet they make their homes in the cliffs; locusts have no king, yet all of them march in ranks; a lizard can be caught in your hands, yet it lives in kings’ palaces. ~Proverbs 30:24-28 HCSB
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? ~Matthew 6:26
I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. ~Matthew 10:16
Ants work hard to store up their food during the right season. Instinctively, they know that a time is coming when food will be difficult or impossible to find. Similarly, Christians should be aware that a day is coming when it will be too late to work in the Lord’s harvest fields. According to 2 Cortinthians 6:2, today is a day for work:
For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
“Hyraxes,” also translated as conies, rock rabbits, or rock badgers, look like rodents. But these unusual animals – found in Africa and parts of Asia – are actually more closely related to elephants and manatees. The size of a small dog, a hyrax has hooves capped with moist, padded skin, which it uses like suction cups to climb, navigating rocks, trees, and a variety of other terrains.
The point made in this passage is that hyraxes are wise enough to take advantage of the protection God offers them. A Christian lives in dangerous terrain, but Psalm 18:2 says the Lord offers you shelter:
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Locusts demonstrate the power of unity. A single locust is of little consequence. But a swarm can competely devestate many square miles of vegetation. Jesus himself prayed that his followers would be unified. And in 1 Corinthians 1:10, the apostle Paul reminds the reader of the importance of unity among believers:
I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.
The lizard cited in verse 28 demonstrates boldness. Although it is small, and can easily be caught, it has the audacity to move right inside the king’s palace. 1 Timothy 1:7 reminds you that a Christian should also be marked by wise boldness:
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
Perhaps you consider yourself to be a small person – of little reputation or influence. This passage encourages you to remember that godly wisdom is much more important than physical stature or fame.