Plagues of Locusts | Tomorrow’s World — June 26, 2024

Plagues of Locusts?

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In recent years, farmers have been forced to watch helplessly as unprecedented swarms of locusts have marched across their lands, relentlessly devouring everything in their path. And these plagues may well be only foretastes of others to come. What does Bible prophecy tell us?

Plagues of locusts have come and gone for centuries. Most people have heard of the ten plagues in ancient Egypt preceding the Exodus of the Israelites. This plague brought swift devastation upon the agriculture of Egypt.

More recently, there was a plague of locusts in Africa during drought conditions, following on the heels of the worldwide aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis. Called the worst swarming to face some areas in almost a century, the impact to crops was severe, adding even greater woes to a part of the world laden with troubles. Even in these modern times, there are few methods to effectively control such massive infestations, and experts warn of worse to come.

More recent studies and reports even suggest that other regions heretofore unaffected by these woes may see similar swarms: “The most severe locust crisis in recent history came to East Africa in 2019 and 2020, when both drought and extreme rainfall made conditions ripe for locust breeding and growth. And already, irregular weather patterns in other parts of the world have spurred locust swarms where they traditionally haven't been.”

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 very short 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, God’s prophet 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 massive 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 of Revelation, which describes the end-time events and signs that precede the day of the Lord. You can learn more, and be prepared for the events to come and the glorious future promised to come after.

Order your free copies of the study guides The Middle East in Prophecy and Revelation: The Mystery Unveiled today.