The little Old Testament book of Joel starts like this: “Hear this, you elders; listen, all you inhabitants of the land. Has anything like this ever happened in your days or in the days of your ancestors? Tell your children about it, and let your children tell their children, and their children the next generation. What the devouring locust has left, the swarming locust has eaten; what the swarming locust has left, the young locust has eaten; and what the young locust has left, the destroying locust has eaten” (Joel 1:1–4). Joel described the devastation and destruction left behind by waves of locust.
Had anything like that ever happened? Yep. The eighth plague.
In response to the egotistical and arrogant king of Egypt, and his blatant and blasphemous rebellion, Almighty God warned Pharoah of the approaching infestation of locusts. “They will cover the surface of the land so that no one will be able to see the land. They will eat the remainder left to you that escaped the hail; they will eat every tree you have growing in the fields. They will fill your houses, all your officials’ houses, and the houses of all the Egyptians—something your fathers and grandfathers never saw since the time they occupied the land until today” (Exodus 10:5-6).
Agitated and nervous, Egypt’s power-hungry Pharoah must have surveyed the landscape from a terrace, high in his luxurious palace. The trees and shrubs that grew in the fertile and well-watered soil near the Nile had been shredded by the seventh plague, the intensely destructive hailstorm. He could see and smell the heaps of decomposing livestock, all inexplicably killed during the fifth plague. Of course, what was left of the frogs remained visible. Heaps, piles, stacks of nasty and nauseating death dotted the countryside. Surely, it appeared that matters couldn’t get any worse. Oh, but unfathomable nightmares were still on the horizon.
“Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt, and the Lord sent an east wind over the land all that day and through the night. By morning the east wind had brought in the locusts. The locusts went up over the entire land of Egypt and settled on the whole territory of Egypt. Never before had there been such a large number of locusts, and there never will be again. They covered the surface of the whole land so that the land was black, and they consumed all the plants on the ground and all the fruit on the trees that the hail had left. Nothing green was left on the trees or the plants in the field throughout the land of Egypt” (Exodus 10:13-15).
Just as Joel described, they came in wave after wave, until the sky was darkened, and the ground was covered with a thick carpet of the ravenous little monsters. They were in the fields. They were in the palace and in every Egyptian house. Utter destruction was left in their wake.
Knowing that Moses’s God could bring relief, Pharaoh summoned the Hebrew leader. When Moses “appealed to the Lord ... the Lord changed the wind to a strong west wind, and it carried off the locusts and blew them into the Red Sea. Not a single locust was left in all the territory of Egypt” (Exodus 10:18-19).
Did you see that? Though there had been a zillion of them, “not a single locust was left!” That’s the power of Almighty God! Truth Him today!