“Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, to morrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast.”
When Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites leave Egypt, the eighth plague the Lord brought upon Egypt was locusts. Moses warned stubborn Pharaoh that the locusts would be so thick that no one would be able to see the ground (Ex. 10:4-6). Scripture also makes clear that there never had been, nor would there ever be again, such a great infestation.
We gain an appreciation for what the Egyptians had to endure because of the hard-heartedness of their leader when we look at modern plagues of locusts. A locust weighs only two grams, but it needs to eat its own weight in food every day. That doesn’t seem like much. However, a swarm of locusts can cover an area of 400 square miles with a density of 100 million to 200 million insects per square mile! A swarm this size can eat 80,000 tons of food per day. That’s enough to feed 40,000 people for a year.
Locusts can descend on an area without warning almost as fast as they did in Egypt. Desert locusts have been known to fly nonstop for up to 1,600 miles at a time. This knowledge doesn’t take away from the miraculous acts of God recorded in the Bible. Knowing a little about the power of a normal locust infestation helps us appreciate the plague of locusts on Egypt. As the Bible says, this locust infestation was unlike any other in history!
Lord, I ask that You would protect crops, especially in areas where food is scarce. More importantly, I ask that You would control events so that Your people could bring the witness of the gospel to those who are spiritually starving. Amen.
London, Jane. 1979. Science Digest, June. p. 25.