Monday, May 30, 2011

Jewel # 86 (May 30, 2011)

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"And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up MY JEWELS."
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren

The Always-Hungry Grasshopper

"The locusts went up over all the land of Egypt . . . and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees."  (Exodus 10:14-15)

People who live where there are  grasshoppers know about these insects.  Even if you can't see then, you know they are there by the noise they make.  Actually, the noise is not made with their mouths but by rubbing their wings with their hind legs.

A grasshopper is a most unusual creature.  Its head has two long antennae extending forward and curving upward.  Its head, shoulders and other body parts are protected with tough armour.  It has wings that fold smoothly along its back and extend past its large hind legs. 

Locusts are similar to grasshoppers, but that name usually refers to those species that migrate in great swarms and are very destructive to crops, as told in Bible accounts such as the opening verse.  But grasshoppers of the Western world can also be very destructive, as farmers in Canada and the United States will tell you.

In late summer, a female digs a hole in the ground with her ovipositor and fills the hole with foam.  Then she lays as many as 120 eggs in the hole and covers the opening with soil.  The eggs hatch the following spring, and the newborn grasshoppers look like the adults except that they have no wings.  They immediately begin feeding on tender vegetation and grow so rapidly that they soon shed their armour skins.  This is called molting.  They molt five or six times before they reach full size.  Their wings grow to full size during the last molt.

A grasshopper has six legs.  The hinged back legs have strong thigh muscles that power its long leaps.  It can leap about twenty times as far as the length of its own body.  These powerful legs also push it off to fly.

The Creator has not only provided them with the ability to leap or fly away from enemies (ever try to catch one?), but he has also given them excellent camouflage among the green and brown vegetation they eat.

Perhaps grasshoppers are given to us as a solemn lesson, speaking of those who are destructive, creating nothing good in themselves and trying to spoil the truth of God's goodness.  There are many people who fit this description today, and the Bible warns us about them: "There are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers . . . teaching things which they ought not" (Titus 1:10-11).

How can we keep from being deceived?  Those who do not know the Lord Jesus as their Saviour will most easily fall into the snares of such deceivers.  But if you have put your trust in Him, a good answer is also provided: "[Build] up yourselves on your most holy faith . . . keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life" (Jude 20-21).


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