The ABC’s of Wisdom: Building Character with Solomon - Perseverance



The Lost Art of Stick-to-it-ivity


Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise: Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer; coneys are creatures of little power, yet they make their home in the crags; locusts have no king, yet they advance together in ranks; a lizard can be caught with the hand, yet it is found in kings’ palaces.

Proverbs 30:24-28


Ants. . . coneys. . . locusts. . . lizards. What do they have in common, and why did the wise man (named Agur in 30:1) group them together? For one thing, they are all small and often overlooked. Yet even the tiniest of God’s creatures have big lessons to teach us. Ants prepare for the future, coneys survive in hostile environments, lo­custs fly in swarms, and lizards were caught and then placed in the palace to find and eat bugs and insects. Per­haps the central fact is simply that these creatures accomplish great feats without the benefit of any other earthly advantage save their own God-imparted wisdom. Despite their small size, they accomplish huge feats. They are small but smart.

Ants are singled out because they overcome their small size by working together to prepare for the future. No excuses here. Just teamwork in the hot summer days to lay up food for the cold winter to come. Coneys are rock-badgers who thrive among the rocks of the wilder­ness. Few animals dare to venture where the coneys call home. Most of us have seen pictures of huge swarms of locusts darkening the skies as they prepare to descend on a field to strip it bare. One locust could never do the job, but because they move “in ranks,” there is nothing left when they are finished. Lizards may be harmless pets but they also serve the king’s purpose. The lizard goes where others never enter-not even with bribes or force of arms.

Taken together, these four examples suggest several important lessons: First, even the tiniest creatures have a purpose in God’s plan. Although we may not personally appreciate locusts or lizards, they have a purpose no less than we do. This is part of God’s providence that extends to the tiniest details of life. Second, since we all have limi­tations of one kind or another, success comes to those who discover what they can do, and then do it. Some of us aren’t even as “successful” as the ants and the lizards because we focus on what we can’t do instead of what we can. Third, just be yourself and you’ll turn out all right. Let the ants be ants; the lizards, lizards; the snakes, snakes; and the hip­pos, hippos. Can you imagine a huge hippopotamus trying to sneak unseen into a king’s palace? It’s not likely to work. But when you need a huge, lumbering animal to cavort in the water, you won’t call a lizard either. A hippo is what you need.

Be yourself and do what God has called you to do. Just keep on doing it day in and day out. That’s what per­severance is all about.


Lord, give me the grace to keep on doing what You called me to do. And save me from the folly of making excuses for not doing my job today. Amen.


Name one positive character quality associated with ants, coneys, locusts, and lizards. Now rate yourself in each one of those qualities.

Where do you most need perseverance right now?


Want instant access to all 100 daily devotionals? The ABC’s of Wisdom: Building Character with Solomon is available in ebook format for the Kindle, Nook, or Ipad. Purchase your copy here! 

Latest blog posts

Good Words for Today: May 30
Saturday, May 30


The Anchor Project
Explaining the Gospel in “Walmart English”

Anchor is a “gospel book” that explains the Good News in a simple and persuasive manner. Read the latest on “The Anchor Project” and how you can be support our work.

Read More
Keep Believing China
Partnering with Chinese pastors and churches

We want to join together with pastors and Christian workers to equip the church in China, broadcasting translated sermons, providing ministry resources for Christians and pastors in China.

Read More

Weekly sermon email
Subscribe for free

Subscribe to the weekly sermon from Keep Believing Ministries. Sign up for our emails and use it to grow in your faith as well as to encourage others.


KBM Podcasts
Weekly audio sermons

Welcome to Keep Believing Ministries’ audio/podcast library. Listen to or download a digital audio version of one of these messages or receive them via our podcast and feed.

Read More

Ebook: Lord of Glory

The Bible contains many names of Christ. His names tell us who he is. His names tell us why he came. His names tell us how he can help us. His names tell us why we worship him. In this devotional series you'll learn of these varied and meaning behind the names, titles and descriptions of Christ.

“Equipping and encouraging people to keep believing in Jesus”

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”