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Do Locusts Symbolize a Plague?
You never know it happens until it happens to you. News is all about locusts. The epidemic has struck a number of countries. We don’t know if we are next. Looking at the swarms from our television screens, we can’t figure out the damage as it has not yet affected us.
With little knowledge about the locusts, we make fun of the images our fellow kinsmen post on social media. We still cannot tell that the damage the epidemic has caused to their crops directly translates to the unpredictable near future whose outcome we have to share. After all, it is our first time to see them.
We don’t have farms. Our offices are the farms we go to and harvest through our salaries. Somehow, we feel we are still untouched until they get closer.
Locusts in My Neighborhood
Days have passed and I can no longer lay on the couch and laugh at the fun that seems to be going around the internet.
The sky looks dotted and funny thing, the dots are moving. As the reality that the dots must be locusts sinks in, my son shouts, “that grasshopper looks weird!”
The locusts have caught up with us. I have no crops in my compound. Looks like it just fell on the grass from above. A keener look unearths some more and I quickly burn them only to realize my neighbors are in the same business of getting rid of the locusts.
It’s a physical fight against an epidemic, I sigh!
What if they keep multiplying and overwhelm us?
As I try to figure out what to expect after the locusts leave, I remember locust’s invasion is widely spoken about in the Bible.
The Damage that Locusts cause
It’s my first time seeing locusts but I have heard of their pattern of destruction. At least I know they consume all the crops and leave. In my interest to get to understand them better, I grab my Bible and confirm my fears as this verse states.
Joel 2: 3; Like fire, they eat up the plants. In front of them, the land is like the Garden of Eden, but behind them, it is a barren desert. Nothing escapes them.
Once they settle in our farms, they leave no stone unturned. This is worrying. If they stay on for the longest unexpected time, hunger will definitely strike. When there is no food to buy, the salaries earned mean nothing because we cannot eat the money.
The little available food will obviously be damn expensive. It is a plague that will bite everyone so hard.
But why are these uninvited visitors around in the first place and until when?
The Lord’s Stake on Locusts
Still, in the same book of Joel, we are reminded that the Lord can speak through such an epidemic as is in this scripture.
Joel 2:1-2; Blow the trumpet; sound the alarm on Zion, God’s sacred hill. Tremble, people of Judah! The day of the LORD is coming soon. It will be a dark and gloomy day, a black and cloudy day. The great army of locust’s advances like darkness spreading over the mountains. There has never been anything like it, and there never will be again.
Zion is to watch from afar as Judah gets consumed into the misery they could as well have rejected. (Also see Psalms 91: 7-13).
The amazing history of Zion is one you would like to have at your fingertips.
The love God had for Zion is immense. Remember God’s favors only ensue where He is loved.
The above Bible excerpt suggests that there will never be such an epidemic again in that particular place. It is therefore either the finale of a famous territory or the new beginning as they turn back to the Lord.
Something significant must happen.
Solutions to the Plague of Locusts
It is important to realize that God has used a territory or a large group of people to demonstrate the locust’s invasion. In the real sense, He isn’t speaking to a nation because a nation is not a living human person. God is addressing the people in the territory.
Considering that God deals with each person individually, He isn’t addressing us in a group but independently speaking to each one of us.
The scare of the locusts impulsively rushes us to do anything within our means to get rid of them. Unfortunately, we destroy the product in the short term but leave the source untouched.
For as long as the manufacturing plant still remains firm, it may not be long before the locusts invade again. Or better still, they can stay on and only leave once they are confident, they have accomplished their mission.
These are visible locusts but remember invisible locusts can gradually consume us without our knowledge. The spirits that lead us to disobey the Lord are unseen but very dangerous. They are the locusts that eventually prompt the Lord to release the real locusts.
There are three long-term solutions that can help us get rid of the locusts.
- Identify the entry points of the locusts.
- Sweep the Temple of the Lord clean.
- Refurbish the Temple of the Lord.
Identify the Entry Points of the Locusts
God does not destroy, He builds. Anything that comes to destroy is not for the Lord but for the evil person. In order for God to let loose the locusts, something is not wrong with the territory but with the people of that place.
When God says He will do something, He does it.
Deuteronomy 28: 15-68 has listed the consequences of disobedience that anyone wouldn’t like to experience. It is a scripture that I like reading often to keep me on toes and I believe it is one that everyone needs to bookmark.
We need to evaluate ourselves, list down all the things we have done that have defiled the Temple of the Lord, and find ways of reaching out to Him for renewal. The Temple is our own body that houses the mind and soul.
Sweep the Temple of the Lord clean
The soul, mind, and body, work in unison to make up the person we become. When the soul gets triggered, the mind and body automatically receive the current. Whatever happens thereafter depends a lot on which side of the coin we belong to.
To ensure that we stand with the Lord and avoid future controversies, we have to clean the soul, mind, and body and never look back at the remnants. Catherine Parks elaborates on repentance as David repented in Psalms 51 and God forgave him. It is worth your time.
The Lord is light and cannot dwell in the darkness. Now that the locusts have left, invite the Holy Spirit and ask Him to occupy you without leaving any vacancy.
God speaks for life and when He told us we can move mountains He was stressing the point that there must be life in us to be able to move those mountains. We can only house that life in the form of the Holy Spirit, who is the only helper Jesus left us when He gave up His life to save ours.
To accommodate the Holy Spirit means to spiritually leave the world and live in the spirit in terms of character.
Once you have dealt with the locusts in the Lord’s Temple, it becomes easier to manage the live locusts because you have surrendered yourself to the Lord. He is your Managing Director and must be involved in every detail of the activities in the Temple. You then begin to pray in purity.
The Essence of Praying in Purity
You cannot remove the speck in your neighbor’s eye before you remove the log in your eye. The log will not allow you to reach that speck or even see it. You will spend time making fun of the locusts rather than settling down for the best way to keep them off.
When you are pure, you have power. Ezra pleaded to the Lord and confessed the sins of the people on their behalf. When he went back to speak to them, they were in agreement with him.
In purity, you have the power to win God’s heart for your spouse, children, siblings, parents, neighbors, community, country, and the whole world. You may not see it but your prayers can make one of the prominent leaders make a decision that impacts positively in the whole world! Or better still, convert that hardened heart next to you.
How to Pray
Focusing on the swarm of locusts that already looks unmanageable, you might be tempted to keep asking God to get rid of them.
For who is He getting rid of them?
Is it for obedient or disobedient children?
Have they allowed Him access to His Temple or they have locked Him out?
As you ask God to finish the locusts, remember to ask Him to touch the hardened hearts of His children. When you are surrounded by people who understand how God works and what He expects of them, it melts the heaps you must pass through to reach God.
Never forget that prayer is a continuous process.
- If there is a fire burning in you, you cannot put off your neighbor’s fire. You need water to put off that fire.
- To manage locusts within the shortest time, start with yourself. Empty yourself of the invisible locusts, clean and invite the Holy Spirit.
- With such power, attack the locusts in your surroundings, and don’t forget to ask God to soften the hardened hearts.
Please care to share this long-term solution to the invasion of locusts with your friends.