Four Small Creatures

Text: Proverbs 30:24-28

The wise man used the illustration of four small creatures – ant, shephanim (rock badger), locust, and lizard/spider. Each of these provides a lesson for us in wisdom.

The Ants

  • Weakness – not a strong people; cannot hunt for food like a lion could
  • How they compensate – prepare food in summer (cf. Proverbs 6:6-11)
  • Lesson – make preparations for the future (cf. Proverbs 10:5; Philippians 3:13)
  • We are not a strong people (1 Corinthians 1:26-29), but we can prepare for the future – physically (Proverbs 28:19; 24:27); spiritually (1 Peter 1:13-16; Ephesians 6:13-17); eternally (Matthew 6:19-21; 25:1-13)

The Shephanim / Conies / Rock Badgers

  • Weakness – not a mighty people; cannot defend themselves from predators
  • How they compensate – make their home in the rocks; a place of safety (cf. Isaiah 2:19, 21)
  • Lesson – make our home in The Rock (Psalm 18:2)
  • We are not a mighty people (1 Corinthians 1:26), but we can make our home with the Lord – the Lord built His church upon the solid rock (Matthew 16:16-18); we can be part of His church (Isaiah 2:2; Acts 2:37-39); we have a solid foundation if we hear His words and practice them (Matthew 7:24-27)

The Locusts

  • Weakness – have no king; not a single leader for them to follow/trust
  • How they compensate – they go out in ranks; strength in numbers (cf. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
  • Lesson – maintain unity with one another (1 Corinthians 12:12-13)
  • We have no king on earth, but we do in heaven (John 18:36; Hebrews 10:12-13) – we must be diligent to preserve unity (Ephesians 4:3); follow the “one Lord” (Ephesians 4:5) and follow no man unconditionally (Acts 5:29; Galatians 1:6-9; 1 Corinthians 11:1); we are to help one another (Ephesians 4:16; Hebrews 3:12-13)

The Lizard/Spider

  • Weakness – can be grasped in our hands; vulnerable when exposed
  • How they compensate – manage to get in the king’s palaces; go where they cannot be caught
  • Lesson – recognize the dangers and do not fall prey to them (2 John 8)
  • We are vulnerable to those who would persecute us (2 Timothy 3:12) – must recognize the dangers that exist around us (Matthew 10:16), but not allow those dangers to stop us (Acts 14:22; Matthew 7:13-14); we need to make our home in the King’s palace (John 14:2-3; Philippians 3:20)


  • Each of these four small creatures were vulnerable for different reasons – yet they exercised wisdom to compensate for these vulnerabilities
  • We must exercise wisdom so the dangers in this life will not cause us to miss the promised reward

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