I talked to a friend on the phone the other day, and her cat, Shadow, had found a giant bug. Her cat was playing ping pong– smacking the cicada back and forth until the giant bug was dead. My friend took a picture of it lying next to a quarter to show me its size. I noticed the dead bug and also one word on the quarter, liberty.
What are cicadas? These giant bugs look like they are wearing combat gear—camouflage.
“Cicadas begin life as a rice-shaped egg, which the female deposits in a groove she makes in a tree limb, using her ovipositor. The groove provides shelter and exposes the tree fluids, which the young cicadas feed on. These grooves can kill small branches. When the branches die, and the leaves turn brown, this is called flagging.
Once the egg hatches, it begins to feed on that tree like a vampire sucking all the life out of it. Once the cicada gets bigger, it falls to the ground and tunnels underneath, hidden and feasting on the root of the tree.
Do you see this in the spirit?
The Bible often compares people to trees.
“I can see the people, but they look like trees walking around” (Mark 8:24, BSB).
Daniel interpreted a dream for a King that used a tree to represent him. “Your Majesty, you are that tree!” (Daniel 4:22).
The Tree is also Israel.
“But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you” (Romans 11:17-18, NASB).
We need the root and the rich sap of the Olive Tree. We need it to survive in our gatherings.
These cicadas live under the ground anywhere from two to seventeen years, and while they are underneath, they are actively feeding like a termite on the tree’s roots. The book of Jude (Judah) warns of those who are hidden among us too.
“These are rocky reefs in your love feasts, feasting with you, feeding themselves without fear, waterless clouds borne about by the winds, late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots (Jude 1:12, ISR).
After 2 to 17 years, the adult Cicada comes up out of the ground as a nymph. These nymphs suck the sap from the roots of trees with piercing-sucking mouthparts. They even drink the xylem from the stem of the tree. Xylem transports water from the roots to the branches, leaves, and shoots of the tree. It also transports nutrients. The very word xylem in Greek means wood. If we are like trees and we are being eaten by a type of pest, and they are busy sucking us dry of our nutrients and water source, His Holy Spirit and Word, we need to be made aware. The Body doesn’t just need encouragement, it also needs correction, but we have removed those seats from the body. Apostle, Prophet, Elders, etc. have no seat at the table. Most of the time they are shunned. The very thing many fear as control, is the very thing that will bring the Body of Yeshua freedom, unity, balance, and accountability. We would find out real quick what was wrong if this was working. Instead of fears, suspicions, and shunning and not listening to one another, we would be addressing things and finding out most of the time the division is from misunderstandings that we are not addressing or ignorance. What happens when we have no Moshe, no Aaron, no Miriam, no Joshua, no order? Or even when we are trying to have order and right next to us at our love feasts sits someone who is going to cause strife, division, and biting. And sometimes we are the person sitting next to someone.
“Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil (Adversary) and argued about the body of Moses (Israel,) did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed. Woe to them!” (Jude 1:8-10).
These are puffed up with themselves. They reject authority. They talk about angels (Messengers). Are these messengers men or angles?
“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation” (Hebrews 1:14). Or Young’s words it this way. “are they not all spirits of service — for ministration being sent forth because of those about to inherit salvation?” YLT. Remember that we are told those who preach the gospel will be judged more harshly. Messengers were also Kings, Prophets, and leaders. Let’s look at an example, “Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works when she had received the messengers and had sent them out another way?” (James 2:25 KJV). This scripture calls the men Joshua sent to inspect the land, messengers. John the Baptist (immerser) was a messenger.
“Strong’s 4397: Malak: a messenger.” Malak Phonetic Spelling: (mal-awk’) Short Definition: angel ambassadors (2), angel (101), angels (9), envoys (1), messenger (24), messengers (76).’
In Numbers 16, we read about these men who were princes, leaders over the Tabernacle of Adonai. Over 250 of these men rose up against Moses and Aaron and wanted to be in control. They already had positions. The book of Judah, one chapter, brings forth the topic of Moses’s death and these men that defile and despise “angels.” This chapter goes hand in hand with II Peter. I believe the subject is about the earth swallowing up Qoraḥ and these wicked men. The usurpers came forth like the cicadas and made a loud noise and then went to their death.
Males sing by flexing their tymbals, which are drum-like organs found in their abdomens. Small muscles rapidly pull the tymbals in and out of shape — like the cap of a Snapple bottle. The sound is intensified by the cicada’s mostly hollow abdomen.”
–Cicada News, Facts, Lifecycle & Sounds | Cicada Mania.
Paul warns that we can be as empty as a drum or a clanging cymbal. An empty hollow belly that’s empty of water and love yet making a LOUD sound. .
“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body [a]to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing” (1st Cor. 13:1-3 NASB).
The Hebrew Roots/ Christian community has a lot of Indians but not many Chiefs. Not many Apostles like Paul visiting and writing letters to the assemblies. Not many prophetic voices that cause men and women to look deeper at our walk and obedience. Some days we need a motivational speaker. Some days we need correction. Some days we need soap. Some days we need held. Not all the Body was designed the same. Thank goodness! We don’t have to scream so loudly we cause others to become deaf.
When these cicadas come forth, they have the loudest voice. Their sound is louder than all the insect kingdom.
“Some cicadas produce sounds up to 120 dB (SPL) which is among the loudest of all insect-produced sounds. The song is loud enough to cause permanent hearing loss in humans should the cicada be at “close range.” In contrast, some small species have songs so high in pitch that they are inaudible to humans.” WIKI
This should not be the way in the Spirit. Are we yelling over one another? Are we trying to make our point so loudly, we shout over each other to the point we become deaf? What is important? Yeshua’s brother tells us. “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (James 1:27, NASB).
Isn’t it our voices behind the scenes, the work of our hands no one sees? The love letters to Adonai? The ministry to those who are alone, sick, or in need of counsel. We can be so beautiful–unified– and free to be unique. But this will not happen until the bugs die down. Are we sucking each other’s sap? Are we stealing nutrients and water–fresh living water from our own body/ His Body? Are we biting one another?
(Galatians 5:15) “But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.”
“If anyone teaches differently and does not agree to the sound words, those of our Master יהושע Messiah, and to the teaching which is according to reverence he is puffed up, understanding none at all, but is sick about questionings and verbal battles from which come envy, strife, slander, wicked suspicions worthless disputes of men of corrupt minds and deprived of the truth, who think that reverence is a means of gain –withdraw from such But reverence with contentment is great gain.” (I Timothy 6:3-6).
Let’s stop being like these sapsuckers. Instead of destroying each other, let’s sing a new song. Let’s become more unified, more loving, kinder, and more at liberty.
Stay in the Light as Shadow. Even a cool cat like Shadow knows where Adonai’s flaming Heart resides. Shadow wants to be at the table surrounded by the light of Shabbat.
Photo rights given by Kisha Gallagher.