Since the Holy Spirit inspired King Solomon to write a proverb using an ant as an example to the lazy, might He also use the bee for an example to the apathetic and lukewarm? (Pr 6:6) (Rev 3:16) What possible lessons could an insect teach to the sophisticated 21st Century humans? Much in many ways, with lessons being particularly apropos to Christians.
Bees live in colonies of several thousands with each bee knowing its proper function. There are 4 type of bees—the queen, whose purpose is to lay eggs, the larvae, which are becoming young bees, the drones, which mate with the queen, and the workers, which are infertile females. The workers are the real “busy bees” secreting a wax to build the hive, cleaning, maintaining and guarding it and raising the young brood.
In much the same way the Holy Spirit endows each Christian with gifts to be use for the benefit of others. (Rom 12:5-8) (1 Cor 12:4) They are also to build up the church and care for the new converts, teaching and supporting them. (2 Th 2:15) (2 Tim 3:16)
Another important job of the workers is to forage for pollen to feed the rest of the colony. They will also defend the hive by stinging intruders. They usually die soon after injecting a human or mammal with their venom. Their life is normally only 4 weeks long. By doing their job they inadvertently benefit plants and humans through agricultural pollination.
Christ expects His spiritual colony (church) to help, serve and edify one another. (Rom 5:2) (1 Cor 14:12) (1 Th 5:11) Christian workers are also meant to be a blessing to all mankind by obeying civil governments and helping one’s neighbors. (Rom 13:1-7) (1 Pe 2:12) (Gal 5:14) Christians are told to, “contend (defend) for the faith…” (Jude 3) They do this not with force, but by “…holding firmly to the trustworthy message…encouraging others by sound doctrine and refuting those who oppose it.” (Titus 1:9)
Bees have several means of communication—pheromones (chemicals), dances and buzzing. By these they can direct other bees to the best food source or sound an alarm. Likewise, Christians can preach and teach, (2 Tim 4:2) pray, (Eph 6:18) give, (2 Cor 9:7) (Mat 6:4) (2 Cor 8:7) help, (Gal 6:2) and love, (Gal 5:13-14) as their way of communication.
–Jim Bailey * topic suggested by Nicholas Bailey