After telling his readers to look at the ant for instructions concerning wise living, Agur (maybe Solomon) gives us another image. He points out a small rodent (I think?) called the Rock badger. Nelson’s Bible Dictionary describes this animal for us: “The rock badger or rock hyrax is a rabbit-sized furry animal. With short ears, sharp teeth, and black-button eyes, it resembles an overgrown 30 rock badgerguinea pig (Lev. 11:5; Coney, KJV, NIV).“The rock badgers are a feeble folk, yet they make their homes in the crags,” says Proverbs 30:26, holding them up as little things that are “exceedingly wise.” Feeble or defenseless they may be, but they find safety in steep, rocky terrain. Their feet have a suction-like grip that enables them to scamper among rocky out-croppings. Their enemies easily overlook a rock badger stretched out motionless on a sun-warmed rock.”

It seems the point of calling this small, insignificant little animal wise is that it knows where to go when danger comes. Our Daily Bread, a daily devotional publication, gave one whole entry to this animal. It explained, “The large ragged crags jutting up from the mountains form a perfect hiding place for the badger. If an eagle swoops down and tries to capture him the little animal is protected by the rock. The eagle would have to tear the mountain apart to get to its prey. When a lion is on the prowl for lunch, the badger goes undetected by lying close to the rock because he is the color of the mountain. As long as the badger hides in the rocks, he is safe. If he wanders away into the grassland, he is dead meat. The most courageous badger is wise enough to know that his strength lies not in working out at the gym but in taking shelter in the crags.”

I’ve been impressed how God uses the “lower life” forms to teach us profound lessons. I sometimes wonder who the real “low-life” is; the animal or the human? God confronts His own people for their failures when the animal world has set the right example. In Isaiah 1:3, He says, “The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s crib, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” Jeremiah 8:7 has a similar indictment: “Even the stork in the heavens knows her times, and the turtledove, swallow, and crane keep the time of their coming, but my people know not the rules of the LORD.” The quote from Our Daily Bread goes on: “If you have the brains of a badger, you’ll figure out where your strength lies. ‘Be strong in the Lord,’ the Scripture urges us, ‘and in the power of His might’ (Eph. 6:10). ‘The Lord is my rock and my fortress,’ cried David after being hunted by his enemies (2 Sam. 22:2). Badgers know where their strength lies. Do you?”