Like dawn spreading across the mountains
a large and mighty army comes . . .
the great locust and the young locust,
the other locusts and the locust swarm
We all experience times when we are hungry for a word from God, but scripture just seems like so many words on a page.
Years ago, I experienced hunger like that. It became a famine stretching from days into weeks. I was studying. Praying. Taking time most evenings for family worship with my husband and four children. I was even teaching a youth Bible study class. But I was feeling parched and dry. One morning as I lingered in my morning devotional time, this little song came to my mind—the desperate plea of my heart.
Speak to me, Lord.
Speak to me, Lord.
As I open your word,
let your voice be heard.
O speak to me—
Speak to me, Lord!
Fill my heart with your fire,
‘Til your will is my only desire.
May your truth fill the world
like a banner unfurled.
O speak through me—
Speak through me, Lord!
The answer to my prayer song was immediate. A strange prophecy from the book of Joel caught my attention. A locust invasion. A plague on the march. Swarms eating up the green leaves of life. That was happening to me! With thanks to God for speaking at last, I read on. What must I do?
“Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
Return to HIM? I thought HE was the one who left the room? Then a picture of my personal locust swarms came into sharper focus. The petty annoyances of daily life were crawling all over me. Covering my eyes so I couldn’t see. Covering my ears so I couldn’t hear. I didn’t just cry out for help—I shrieked in horror! I begged God to take away the plague of locusts and forgive me for letting my relationship with Him become just another item on the “to do” list of a busy wife and mother. This is the promise from Joel 2:25-27 that God spotlighted for me that day.
“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten . . . You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God . . . Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, and that there is no other.”
Our God is so good! He answered me with a rich banquet of spiritual nourishment that very day. In Revelation 3:20 Jesus pleads with the lukewarm church of Leodicea, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” Look at his hand. That is a picnic basket he is carrying. He always brings the food, and he is known for pulling out huge amounts from one little basket! Why subsist on leftovers or drive-thru fast food when the King of kings stands at the door, longing to linger over a banquet with you at your very own table?
A note about my Sword Swash Bible studies:
Swarms! is just a blog post. My thoughts, my experience. I hope it will be an inspiration to those who read it, but my Sword Swash Bible Studies are intended to be a guide for your own quiet time with God. Slow down. Read the study passages and listen for His Voice. What new counsel, encouragement, comfort, or motivation did you receive? Please post your thoughts. I would love to hear back from you about the Bread of Life he brought for you in that basket.
There may be days when you have to swish through Sword Swash or whatever Bible study plan you are following. For those days I will always include answers at the bottom of the page. Remember to invite Jesus to come along with you as you grab a bite on the run . . . but keep an eye out for locusts.
I’m just saying.
He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. (Deuteronomy 8:3, NIV)