The Bible is infested with bug references. Ironically, the praying mantis is not one of them. Although several other insects and flying creatures are referenced. Egypt had trouble with a plague of locust. The spies coming back from the Promised Land said they looked like grasshoppers compared to the Canaanites (as we will see– being compared to a bug is never a good thing, by the way). Then, there is this “tasty” little verse buried in Leviticus: “There are, however, some flying insects that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground.” (Leviticus 11:21) For the record the author of Leviticus states that grasshoppers are fine dining and bacon is a “no no.” (Burp!). Not all is bad news toward bugs, Solomon commends the ants who though small work hard in Proverbs 30. And according to the gospels, John the Baptist ate bugs and not bacon (obviously he read Leviticus but had never visited a Bob Evans restaurant).
My backyard is infested with bugs too. Mostly cicadas, chiggers and spiders. Did you know it is only the male cicadas that makes those annoying loud, shrill sounds? (Gentlemen insert your own joke here about shrill noises coming from a different gender inside your home rather than outside of your home. Before inserting your cicada/wife joke, grab your pillow you might be sleeping on the couch tonight). Chiggers are not my friends either. They have bitten me in places no bug should ever venture. Karla’s sworn enemy is the spider and has been known to call the neighbor to kill a particularly large eight-legged monster that had taken up residence in our basement. And this week, a bee bit my dog on right on the nose in our back yard. She was not a happy puppy. Suffice it to say, like the Egyptians during Moses’ time we’ve been saying, “No more bugs.”
Bugs in the Bible and bugs in my backward are not the only bugs that bug me. When people take on insect like qualities that’s even worse than a swarm of bed bugs in your king size posturepedic. For instance, have you ever noticed how gossipers sound a lot like bumble bees just buzz, buzz, buzzing with meaningless noise. At least bees make honey– gossipers make nothing but trouble. Mosquitoes aren’t the only blood sucking creatures on the planet. So are those whose greed doesn’t allow them to see each person as a unique, child of God whom we are called on to help. Instead these “skeeter quality” like people seem to only be interested in what they can get out of people. And flies aren’t the only life forms that are drawn to garbage. I’ve known people who are obsessed to the latest scandal in Hollywood, Washington DC or even their local town or church. When the morsels of slander or tales of sordid misdeeds are released, they gather to the news like flies on a stinky chunk of raw meat on a hot summer day. These folks don’t realize that there’s more to life than the latest pile of garbage. All of these bug like qualities are worse than any flying insect type of creature found in my back yard.
The truth is– all of us have the potential to have bug-like attitudes and behaviors . So if you should find yourself slipping toward “A Bug’s Life” don’t splash on the Deep Woods Off or any other bug spray, allow the Holy Spirit to work, cleanse and free you from any of those annoying qualities and behaviors. The Israelite spies didn’t like comparing themselves to a grasshoppers when they scouted out the Promised Land, let’s not have people comparing us to gnats, fleas or ticks rather than let them say we love like the Creator of all those flying, jumping, and creepy crawly things.
Now let’s go out loving God and all his creatures great and small (except chiggers)!