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A Plague of Locusts

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As farmers in Australia watch helplessly, locusts are marching relentlessly, devouring crops as they go. This plague is just another foretaste of an even more devastating plague to come. What can we do to prevent these plagues from happening? What can we do to escape?

Plagues of locusts have come and gone for centuries. Most people have heard of the ten plagues in Egypt preceding the Exodus of the children of Israel. This plague brought devastation on the agriculture of Egypt within a short period of time.

More recently, there was a plague of locusts in France in 2005 during drought conditions which persisted in southern Europe for several years. There have also been plagues of locusts on the continent of Africa from time to time, and no continent has been immune from these devouring insects except Antarctica. Even in these modern times, there are few methods to effectively control them.

Most recently in the news has been the locust plague in Australia in 2010. It is being called the biggest locust plague in 75 years. It is currently centered in the state of Victoria in southern Australia. Though efforts have been taken to control the locusts' egg beds and nymphs through spraying, as they reach the adult stage and begin to fly, spraying is ineffective. It is hoped that the second generation of locusts will not be as widespread as the first generation, in the spring.

The second wave will likely come in January and February of 2011. But the current generation is making its way across Victoria's farms, consuming crops and laying eggs. With the continuing warm weather conditions, the locusts will soon take flight. The resulting swarms can devour a wide swath of crops, pastures and other vegetation in its path.

In a normal state, locusts do not swarm. But when breeding conditions are favorable, with too many hatchlings resulting in overcrowding, they enter an agitated state and begin to gather into a migrating swarm. Swarms can travel on wind currents and devastate large areas of vegetation. A plague of locusts can contain millions and millions of insects, which together look like clouds and can literally block out the sun. They swarm across the land, devouring all vegetation in a short period of time. They take to the air again, moving on to the next area, repeating the cycle, covering hundreds of square miles.

God uses natural disasters in the environment as a means of correction or punishment for national sins. In the book of Joel, chapters 1 and 2, it describes a plague of locusts, along with other insects, which bring complete devastation in Judah, like nothing that has ever gone before. It is described in terms of complete consumption of vegetation, even having bark stripped off of vines and trees. All aspects of agriculture and crop production are completely consumed, leaving the land like a desert. The farm animals suffer in the resulting famine as there is no pasture or grain for food. The Lord calls for repentance, a rending of the heart, a return to God with fasting and weeping and mourning.

The prophet Joel describes a time preceding the Day of the Lord. He warns it is quickly coming, and that locusts will seem like pesky gnats in comparison to the devastation brought by the armies, for which the locusts are a metaphor. God is preparing to bring His judgment on all of the nations of the earth. Joel concludes with the deliverance, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the complete restoration brought about by the Messiah as He intervenes to rule the earth.

This is made clear in the book or Revelation which describes the end-time events and signs that precede the day of the Lord. Order your free copies of The Middle East in Prophecy and Revelation: The Mystery Unveiled today.