In Proverbs 6:6 we are exhorted to “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise…” I would add that we could also consider the firefly!
Some years ago when my wife and I were on holiday in Corfu, a Greek island in the Mediterranean, we saw small fields at night lit up by these fireflies. They were fascinating, and they produce light via a chemical reaction.
Seeing all these fireflies — in the dark, lighting up these fields — can give us a glimpse of what God must see, from a spiritual standpoint, when He looks down on this earth. A dark, dark society with a few flashes of light here and there – God’s people standing out in an evil society. As has been said — if we can’t shine in this society, then we are in big trouble. So seeing these fireflies light up a field is, to me at least, a good way of remembering that it is a good analogy as to what God must see with spiritual eyes when He looks down from heaven (compare Psalm 33:13-14).
Matthew 5:14-16 tells us to be “the light of the world” and to let our “light shine.” What they are saying in essence is that we should be a walking, talking commercial for God’s way. Many people are influenced by what a Christian does or doesn’t do and very often judge Christianity by its adherents or followers. We should be light bearers (compare Philippians 2:12-15). Hopefully, we all fell into that category at the recent Feast of Tabernacles that we attended and where we were on show as a group of God’s people.
It is for good reason that Christians are compared to lights that stand out in a dark place. It’s not that we should make it a point to stand out or call attention to ourselves, but that the world has gone so far astray from God’s laws that anyone who begins doing what is right will automatically be noticed because of the contrast between the futile ways that society follows and the ways of true Christianity. It really is the difference between night and day. This world is filled with unhappiness, wars, crime, injustice, sickness and suffering and we should be good examples of the right way of life.
Christ left us an example for us to follow (1 Peter 1:21). He was the perfect example. And He told us to let our lights shine. Doing that is something that we are instructed to do and something that God is looking for as fruit in our lives. As He looks down from heaven and can see His sons and daughters, as they stand out in a crooked and perverse generation, we can visualise in some very small way how that must seem in the spiritual realm, as we ourselves can see those fireflies light up a dark field. They are conspicuous by their light, shining brightly in the darkness. It is quite a sight. We should be the same — we should stand out in this dark world.
Consider the firefly. These sorts of physical examples can be very helpful in seeing the bigger picture.