Learning from the Locusts
A Texan farmer visits Australia for a vacation. He meets an Aussie farmer who shows off his big wheat field and the Texan says, “Oh! We have wheat fields that are at least twice as large”. Then they walk around the ranch and the Aussie shows off his herd of cattle. The Texan says, “We have cattle that are at least twice as large as your cows”. Then the Texan sees a herd of kangaroos hopping through the field. He asks, “And what are those”? The Aussie incredulously replies, “Don’t you have any grasshoppers in Texas”?
Locusts are a type of grasshoppers. The major difference between the two is their behaviour. Grasshoppers are always solitary, whereas locusts can change their behaviour from solitary to gregarious under certain environmental conditions. When locusts have plenty of food, they behave as individuals, living in solitude. A locust by itself is harmless. When the locust’s population increases and when they come in contact with other locusts, they go through a change of phase and become social and gregarious. They form bands as nymphs or swarms as adults. A swarm of locusts can destroy plants and crops and turn into a natural disaster.
A massive swarm of locusts can be 460 square miles in size, with millions packed into less than half a square mile. These gigantic number of locusts in one swarm can eat up their own body weight in plants in a day. If a swarm passes through a place, their coming from a distance sounds like racing chariots. When this enormous swarm passes by, it covers the sunlight and turn the land into darkness. As they pass they consume every plant, crop, even clothes and varnishes on furniture. They covered all the ground until it was black. They devoured all that was left after the hail–everything growing in the fields and the fruit on the trees. Nothing green remained on tree or plant in all the land of Egypt (Exodus 10:15 NIV).
Locusts have destroyed nations, brought people to starvation and poverty and ruined the lives of millions. They are nothing but devastating little creatures. It is not the nature of their work that we need to admire, but the wisdom and the system in which they operate. If we set aside our dislike for these pests and look at the beauty of their accomplishments and imitate and learn from them, we too can be successful in fulfilling God’s will for His kingdom.
Locusts have no king, yet they advance together in ranks (Proverb 30:27 NIV). Locusts know how to work autonomously, as well as in harmony, as a group. When they unite as one, they can factually devour the entire nation. As Christians we need to have a personal faith in Christ, but when we unite as one, with fellow believers, we increase in might and can reach the entire nation with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works (Hebrews 10:24 NLT).
It is sad when Christian denominations fight against each other, undermine and criticise one another. There isn’t a single denomination that is perfect, we all have some faults within us. A church is made of people, and wherever there are people, there is bound to be some weakness and mistakes. Slashing at each other destroys the unity of the body of Christ. I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought (1 Corinthians 1:10 NIV).
It’s not just the power of community amongst locusts that’s amazing. Any group that is motivated and works in agreement with each other can accomplish a great deal. A group of bandits, for instance, can carry out a successful burglary. The great success of locusts depends on many other factors. Locusts can fly many miles. In spite of their little wings, they can fly across continents. They don’t fly such great miles with their own strength. They are too frail to cover massive distances on their own abilities.
A locust is not a great flyer, but is a great hopper. A locust can jump 2.3 feet, which is equivalent to us humans jumping 60 feet. The swarm of locusts migrates along with the wind. So when the wind is blowing, all the locust needs to do is jump, and the wind carries it along. A locust weighs around 2 grams, although not light as a feather, but light enough for the wind to carry it along.
The wind symbolised the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer. We accomplish nothing with our own abilities, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. When we discern the presence of the Holy Spirit, all we need to do is to take a leap of faith, and the Holy Spirit will take us places we couldn’t go on our own. He will help us achieve things we couldn’t achieve by ourselves.
The swarm of locusts don’t decide their destiny. The wind navigates and takes them to where it goes. Likewise, we do not decide on our destiny. The Holy Spirit takes us to where He intends us to go. The secret is not in community work, every good church operates for some good cause. The revival of the church depends on its dependence on the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit of God is grieved, the church becomes nothing, but just another organization doing some good with their own abilities.
Whatever we do as individuals is very little for God’s Kingdom, but if we unite together as one, we will achieve great things. It’s not by our power, but through the power of God that great things happen when God mixes with man.