“I will bring locusts into your country” (Exodus 10:4)
Locusts are large tropical grasshoppers with strong powers of flight. We find them on almost every continent of the world. They eat grass, leaves, fruit, vegetables – anything that makes them a nice salad. A large swarm of them can consume as much as 160,000 tons of food a day. Female locusts lay eggs that lie just below the earth’s surface for several months until moisture causes them to hatch. They are unwanted devourers who rob nations and their populations of a daily supply of nutrition.
So, imagine what happened during the time of the prophet Joel when Judah was visited by hordes of locusts. Listen to what Joel wrote regarding their invasion of the land in Joel 1:4: “What the chewing locust left, the swarming locust has eaten; What the swarming locust left, the crawling locust has eaten; And what the crawling locusts left, the consuming locust has eaten.” This invasion of grasshoppers was a relentless horrific disaster to the land.
The result of this devastation of locusts not only robbed the people of the food they needed, but it also robbed them of what they needed to worship God. Their grain and drink offerings were eaten up by the mass of insects. Thus, the people were unable to worship God and have fellowship with him. God took away their ability to worship him. Does that seem strange to you? Why would God do that?
You see, Judah was in sin. Including the sin of idolatry. So, God had sent these hungry grasshoppers as His instrument of judgment to the people. He not only took away their basic needs. He stopped them from their feeble attempts to worship him while they were committing sin. Yet, in his compassion he sent the prophet Joel to tell them that if they turned from their sin, he would restore their relationship with their land, and with him.
As we observe the disasters, calamities, and crises going on in America and around the world, we best sit up and take heed. Could what we see devouring America be God’s judgment? Could God be allowing us to be invaded with people and things that are destroying the good morals this nation once had? Could it be that God is allowing us to reap what we have sown? Could it be that God is allowing the “American locusts” to rob us of our ability to worship him? We are warned in Revelation 9 of locusts in the last days who will come down on earth with power like that of scorpions. Those locusts are now waiting their orders from heaven, just as the locusts of Joel’s day were. Now is the time to heed the warning. The people of Joel’s day did not.