Anchor Sunday School Class

Bob’s Blog

by Bob Marsh


Listen to the Bugs

Are you aware that we have been invaded by some very fascinating insects, harmless, beneficial, and “awesome???”


It was interesting to read the many responses, evaluations, and commentaries about the phenomena. The NEW YORK TIMES stated that “the most amazing factor about their coming is that scientists told us exactly when it would occur, what we should expect, and when it will occur again!” One TV “Talking head” pontificated “this is the most astounding event in most of our lives!” On and on went the exclamations, ranging from the profound to the somewhat fatuous. However, one common denominator with all the commentaries was “it was amazing, astounding, and unbelievable!” Only an insouciant mind would fail to be captivated by the AMAZING!

However, let me state what I believe is the MOST AMAZING FACT ABOUT THE COMING OF THE CICADAS.” Most of us who witnessed the spectacular event would be prone to agree that behind all of the “awe,” there must be some power, some force, and obvious design! How else would you explain that the scientists were able to tell us categorically when they were coming, and when they will come again??? Would it be reasonable to postulate that behind the obvious design there must be a DESIGNER? Surely science would permit us to speak of the POWER behind it all in terms of A PERSONAL BEING, without giving away our brains. So, to my point: the most remarkable POSTULATE ABOUT THE PHENOMENA: There is a Divine Being, An Eternal Power, A Spiritual Force, and a CREATOR BEHIND THE CREATION. FANTASTIC!

One scientist enthusiastically exclaimed that “”this is one of the most amazing events in ALL THE UNIVERSE.” Did you get that? ALL THE UNIVERSE??? Keep in mind that we have no idea of the vastness of the universe, though brilliant minds are constantly giving us newly discovered information. What we can see and sense, bewilders, baffles, and humbles the imagination. No wonder the Psalmist exclaimed “WHAT IS MAN THAT YOU ARE MINDFUL OF HIM? (Actually CARE FOR HIM)???” (Psalm 144:1-3) He continued to gaze into the heavens that PROCLAIM THE GLORY OF GOD AND DECLARE HIS HANDIWORK by rejoicing:

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him (Ps 8:3-4)?

But back to the bugs

Scientist told us that the CICADAS had been in the ground for the past 17 years, very much alive and active, preparing for the weather to reach a certain temperature, come to the surface, climb a tree, shed their shell, make a lot of noise, the males would attract a female, have baby cicadas, die, babies take over, return to the ground for another 17 years, some for 13. My legitimate question is HOW DO THEY KNOW WHEN 17 YEARS HAVE PASSED AND IT IS TIME TO ARISE FROM THE SOIL? HOW DO THEY KNOW IT IS TIME TO RETURN TO THE SOIL? If you tell me “it is a LAW OF NATURE,” fine, but I do not dismiss intelligence in declaring that THERE MUST BE A LAWGIVER. Philosophers call this a COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT. Whatever! But I do not wear a dunce cap when I declare with Job:

Who commands the sun not to shine,
And sets a seal upon the stars;
Who alone stretches out the heavens
And tramples down the waves of the sea;
Who makes the Bear, Orion and the Pleiades,
And the chambers of the south;
Who does great things, unfathomable,
And wondrous works without number.
Were He to pass by me, I would not see Him;
Were He to move past me, I would not perceive Him.
Were He to snatch away, who could restrain Him?
Who could say to Him, “What are you doing?” (Job 9:7-12).

The writer of Hebrews nudges us to consider Him who “SUSTAINS ALL THINGS BY HIS POWERFUL WORD.” Hebrews 1:3. The Apostle Paul encouraged the Colossians to look to Him and remember that “ALL THINGS WERE CREATED BY HIM AND FOR HIM, AND IN HIM ALL THINGS HOLD TOGETHER.” Colossians 1:17. We have not succumbed to Lilliputian thinking when we embrace the Apostle John’s prologue “through Him all things were made and without Him nothing was made that had been made.” John 1:3.

Our son Charles worked summers at the Stewart Baptist Center. One summer he and other workers took a group of inner city children, most who had never been out of the inner city, up to the hills of North Georgia to a camp. The first night, late at night, Charles is asleep in a cabin filled with young men who had never seen the hills and woods. He is awakened around midnight by a young lad who in a terrified voice says: “Charles, wake up. The trees are talking to us!!!” Well, that was essentially true, because the Cicadas were “talking,” making sounds they had never heard before. THEY WERE TALKING! And what they were saying, we need to hear: “BEHIND THIS BEAUTIFUL CREATION, THERE IS A CREATOR. THERE IS DESIGN IN NATURE BECAUSE THERE IS A DESIGNER. THE LAWS OF NATURE ARE THE WORKS OF A LAW GIVER.” But the TREES THAT ARE TALKING, THE CICADAS THAT ARE SHOUTING TELL US THAT THE DIVINE POWER THAT PUT ALL OF THIS TOGETHER IS PERSONAL, LOVES US, HAS COME TO US IN JESUS THE CHRIST, AND MAKES THE ASTOUNDING DECLARATION THAT “NOTHING WILL SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD THAT IS IN CHRIST JESUS.”

Next time you hear the raucous noise from a Cicadas, or you hear “the trees are talking,” hear the wonderful message that “GOD MADE HIM WHO KNEW NO SIN TO BECOME SIN FOR US, THAT WE BY FAITH MIGHT BECOME THE RIGHTEOUS OF GOD IN HIM.” Thanks, little noisy bug!