The Need for Precaution
"Conies [rock-badgers] are creatures of little power, yet they make their home in the crags."1
While the ants teach us many lessons, including the importance of being prepared as much as possible for whatever lies ahead, the conies or rock badgers show us the need for precaution and being responsible for taking care of ourselves.
These small animals hide behind the rocky crags jutting up in the mountains where no eagle can get to them. They also hide close to the rocks where they remain unseen by prowling lions. Away from the safety of the rocks they would be dead meat.
Too many people today are over-dependent, expecting somebody else or the government to take care of them. God's goal for each of us is that we mature and grow up, not be independent nor over-dependent, but interdependent. If we don't take care of ourselves and accept responsibility for getting our needs met in healthy ways, nobody else is going to do it for us. Rock-badgers, if they didn't exercise precaution and take care of themselves, would either starve or be eaten. If we don't learn to do the same, we will, in the long run, "be eaten up!" And when we expect others, including for some the government, to do for us what we can and need to do for ourselves, we remain immature, over-dependent and irresponsible.
Furthermore, in life, the reality is that we can't trust everybody. Jesus didn't trust himself to everybody either. And like him, the more we know and understand ourselves, the more we will be able to sense whether we can trust somebody else or not. And we certainly can't trust our arch enemy, the devil. As Peter put it, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."2
We don't want to become cynics, but we do need to be careful, take necessary precautions against all forms of moral ineptitude, wrong-doing and evil, and accept full responsibility for every area of our life. Above all we need to daily trust our life and way to God as did David who said, "The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge … He is my stronghold."3
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, in the words of the hymn writer, 'Rock of Ages cleft for me, Let me hide myself in thee.' Help me never to stray from you, and always be responsible for every area of life. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Proverbs 30:26 (NIV).
2. 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV).
3. 2 Samuel 22:2-3 (NIV).