Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Crazy ants "CANNOT" be stopped!

When I want to read something but relax my brain I read the UK's Daily Mail. It is full of agitation, hyperbole, and large photos. Actually, their photos are great. It is aimed at a female readership, and is a tabloid paper, meaning, along with its bigger size, uses large photos and it "tends to emphasize topics such as sensational crime stories, astrology, celebrity gossip and TV." The paper does have good writing, and it did enjoy journalistic success in the 1980s. According to Wikipedia, it has been awarded "National Newspaper of the Year in 1995, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2003 and 2012 by the British Press Awards."

All in all it's not a bad paper and I really, really like the photos. So here is one from an edition this week:

'Crazy ants' that feast on electronics and are invading the U.S. CANNOT be killed with normal insecticide

(see, the hyperbole in the headline is the all-caps for 'cannot'. Here's the great photo)

LOL! I mean, what better than to emphasize the imminent invasion of damaging creatures we cannot, I say, CANNOT, control than this severe close-up of a slobbering, grinning, menacing insect?

"A new and annoying species of ant is terrorizing the U.S. and chemicals that kill off other types of the insect are proving ineffective against it. The 'crazy' ant, named for the erratic trail it leaves as it makes its way across the country, originated in Argentina and Brazil. But since it was first spotted in Houston in 2002, it has spread to some 21 counties in Texas, 20 counties in Florida and a few locations in Mississippi and Louisiana. University of Texas researcher and co-author of a study on the creatures Ed LeBrun said the omnivorous ants attack and kill other species as well as monopolizing food sources to the detriment of the entire ecosystem. He said everything from cattle to songbirds are at risk of the tiny ants, despite them being at the bottom of the food chain. According to ABC News, the chemicals that kill the more common red ant aren't effective on crazy ants so residents should call pest control if they find an infestation in their home. And hopefully they'll get there before the critters attack their computer. The insects, bizarrely, are attracted to electrical wiring and components and in one year alone caused $146.5 million in damages in Texas, ABC reported. The devastation occurs when one ant discovers the transformer then gets electrocuted when it touches it, and 'waves its abdomen in the air' omitting a certain scent. The scent lures for ants to the scene and they too are electrocuted, again sending the scent into the air to attract their friends. Eventually, there are so many dead ants that the electric switches get stuck or the insulation fries and the system shuts down."

Source
The world has always been terrorized by insects, and for most of the time of humankind's life upon it, humankind has been at the mercy of them. Plague arose from fleas on rats. Plague was "one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, killing an estimated 75 to 200 million people and peaking in Europe in the years 1348–50. It's estimated to have killed 30–60% of Europe's total population. All in all, the plague reduced the world population from an estimated 450 million down to 350–375 million in the 14th century." (Wikipedia, Black Death)

Malaria has been a scourge for millennia. "References to the unique periodic fevers of malaria are found throughout recorded history, beginning in 2700 BC in China. Malaria may have contributed to the decline of the Roman Empire, and was so pervasive in Rome that it was known as the "Roman fever". (Wikipedia). Malaria killed 15,000 people a year in Italy, which is believed to be an under-estimate because malaria led to other health complications that people subsequently died from. Malaria borne by mosquitos was the most important health hazard encountered by U.S. troops in the South Pacific during World War II, where about half a million men were infected, says Wikipedia.

Bill and Melinda Gates have devoted a significant amount of their time, energy, and fortune to the plague of deaths still to this day caused by malaria: "Malaria occurs in nearly 100 countries worldwide, exacting a huge toll on human health and imposing a heavy social and economic burden in developing countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. More than 200 million people suffered from the disease in 2010, and about 655,000 died, the vast majority of them children under age 5."

I think that is way worse than ants infesting your laptop.

In Deuteronomy 8, when the Moses is recounting God's mercies of delivering them from a terrible time, an insect is mentioned as one of the scourges:

"who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock," (Deuteronomy 8:15).

Out of the ten plagues of Egypt, two were a plague of insects. (Gnats, Exodus 8:12-15; flies, Exodus 8:20-32).

Of course men have been terrorized by locusts for much of history. (Joel 4:1-7)
Source

Under the curse of sin man has always been at the mercy of the creation. Weather, insects, animals, and diseases are regular occurrences. This will not be reversed until Jesus comes. (Revelation 19:14). The interesting thing is that man thinks he can control any of this. The line in the ant article that caught my attention was this:

"A new and annoying species of ant is terrorizing the U.S. and chemicals that kill off other types of the insect are proving ineffective against it."

Today, we see that in human diseases and in insects, man's efforts to control them are increasingly ineffective. We've all read about how diseases man is infected by are becoming resistant to antibiotics, how diseases that used to be contained in animals are jumping to humans, and we're dying of things we thought we had beaten into submission and obscurity. (Tuberculosis, gonorrhea).

The same with insects. Romans drained the marshes in an effort to defeat the mosquito, they diverted canals and engineered their way around mountains, but the mosquito is undaunted. So is the locust, ant, and bee. Just today the Israel Agricultural Ministry in Jerusalem declared victory over the locust, but I believe that is premature, as we see below-

"And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth." (Revelation 6:8).

In the Tribulation, all the animals will be released from their dread and fear of man (Genesis 9:2), which God had instilled in them after the flood. They will seek to kill man on a widespread basis- so widespread that such deaths will be called a plague. A fourth of the remaining world's population will die in some form or fashion from animals.

John MacArthur believes that it will be the flea again. After all, the most widespread death that ever occurred in the planet at one time was the aforementioned bubonic plague, AKA The Black Death, carried by a flea. Of course this makes total sense.

Personally I do not believe the prophesied plague of beasts will be ONLY the flea, but all animals. If we follow the progression through the bible:

--Man had dominion over the animals. They were friendly. (Genesis 1:25-26, Genesis 2:19)
--Man sinned, there was a flood to wipe out all living flesh. (Except Noah and family). After the flood, animals were cursed. They were fearful of man. (Genesis 9:2). This is because now animals were to be food for man, and be hunted. (Genesis 9:3).
--During the Tribulation, a prophesied 7-year period of divine retribution by God upon humankind, animals will have lost their fear of man and be hunters of man instead of the other way around. (Revelation 6:8). Even dear old Fluffy and Spot will turn on men and become killers again. There will be no such thing as a 'domesticated' animal.
--In the millennium kingdom after the Tribulation, animals will be friendly again. They will have been released from the curse (Romans 8:22; Isaiah 11:6-9). (Above, Edward Hicks, The Peaceable kingdom 1816).

We see a small picture of the plague of beasts in 2 Kings 2:23-24. Elisha the prophet cursed the youths who were mocking him (and thereby mocking God, since a Prophet was God's emissary), and immediately after Elisha cursed them, two she-bears came and ate the youths.

"And he turned around, and when he saw them, he cursed them in the name of the Lord. And two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the boys. From there he went on to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria."

In this scene, animals were used to execute a punishment of people mocking, blaspheming and insulting
God. This is also a picture of how powerful animals actually are. Since they have always had the fear and dread of man in them since the flood, we have only seen the restraint. Yet when God used the bears to accomplish His will (Leviticus 26:21), two of them tore up 42 young men. One bear killed 21 young, strong men in a matter of minutes. Not one got away. That is amazing strength, speed, and power. In the Tribulation, all animals will once again use their strength, speed, and power to the utmost against us in having lost the restraint of fearing and dreading man.

I mean, did you ever wonder how a man who weighs 180 pounds can control an elephant weighing 15,000 pounds, with just a stick?

In summary, we are always at risk of being terrorized by animals, birds, and insects. This post is about His sovereignty. We puny humans think we have things under control, but look at the pinpoint accuracy of God's control:

"And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights." (Jonah 1:17). In the middle of the sea, in the midst of a great and deadly tempest, God appointed a fish to be in the exact spot where one man was put into the sea, to be swallowed. And at the end, in Jonah 2:10,

"And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land."

Once again with pinpoint accuracy, God appointed the fish to be where HE wanted the fish to be and deposit Jonah at the exact spot He wanted JONAH to be.

For a little while, if man thought that he had conquered the insect, and can live malaria-plague-disease free, he will soon learn that this is not the case. If crazy ants are going to invade, they will invade. We hear so much mocking from people who say that bible stories are just a bunch of fables made up to satisfy primitive man as to what was happening in the world that they did not understand, but today's man is actually more stupid and more primitive than they were.

The bible men understood that it was GOD doing these things. Even the pagan sailors in Jonah's boat understood the storm was supernatural from an angry God and prayed to stop it. (Jonah 1:14-16). Not so today. Today we have hermetically sealed meat packages and insecticides and malaria screens and conceit that man is in control. We get articles alarming the populace that crazy ants are coming, and that insecticide CANNOT kill them. Oh, no! We have lost control, is the implicit point of articles such as these. We never had control of the world to begin with. This fact will be painfully revealed in the Tribulation:

"Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” (Revelation 6:15-17)

To answer that question, no one can stand in the presence of Holy God, except those He has declared Holy! All sinners are at war with God, and are His enemies. Those sinners who have declared themselves sinners, (Romans 3:20), and unworthy to dwell in a perfectly holy place such as heaven with a mighty God, and have repented of those sins and appealed to Jesus to forgive them, He declares peace. (Acts 13:39). To those people, He sees as friends of Himself, and justified them as having been pardoned of their sins and crimes against Him. (Romans 10:4). You can be in that group.

The original apostles were sent to bring a message. "So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent." (Mark 6:12). That message is still good today. There is no expiration date on God's word. He wants you to repent so you can be declared reconciled to him, no longer at war with Him. (Romans 5:10.)

In heaven, the insects won't bite and you won't need screens on your windows. There will be nothing to "terrorize" you. There will be no alarming news. The entire place will be beyond beautiful and filled with the brilliant light of God's glory!

"After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald." (Revelation 4:1-3).

Source

"Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking." (Ezekiel 1:28)

And when you hear the voice of God speaking, I pray it is as His friend, who says, "Well done good and faithful servant," (Matthew 25:23) and not as one who hears this: "I will display my glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the punishment I inflict and the hand I lay on them." (Ezekiel 39:21)

God is glorious and worthy! Selah
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Further reading

Attack of the gallinippers

Killer bees sting a man to death in Texas

Plague of beasts

1 comment:

  1. The best we've done is "manage"; we are far from in control. God in His mercy has given us a way to "manage" things... like giving man the ability to invent radar to detect dangerous storms, or insecticide to try to combat plagues, and mercifully some of the animals have been domesticated (dogs, cats, cows, etc), and even some wild animals can be trained to a degree (think: your 180 lb man with the elephant).

    But really, if you think you're in control, try to give a 40 lb dog a bath he doesn't want to take. Or take an unwilling 10 lb cat to the v-e-t.

    The peace that Christ will bring in the Millennial Kingdom and New Heavens and Earth is going to be beautiful. All around. And to think He even gives us a small taste of it here, when we come to know Him as Savior...

    -carolyn

    ReplyDelete

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