I talked to a friend on the phone the other day, and her cat had found a giant bug. It was large and had wings, and the cat was playing ping pong with it and smacking it back and forth. Eventually, the large cicada 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 the quarter—one word, liberty–He who the Son sets free. The image seemed to speak to me. It was as if Abba was saying, look at that picture closer.
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, it 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.
Hopefully, you are getting a vision now of what I am trying to express. The Bible often compares people to trees.
“The man looked up and said, “I can see the people, but they look like trees walking around” (Mark 8:24 BSB).
Even Daniel interpreted a dream for a King that used a tree to represent him. “Your Majesty, you are that tree!” (Daniel 4:22 NIV).
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 warns of those who are hidden among us too.
“These are they who are hidden rocks in your love-feasts when they feast with you, shepherds that without fear feed themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn leaves without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;” (Jude 1:12 ASV).
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. What is Xylem? 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, which is His Holy Ruach Spirit and His Word, then we need to be made aware of who is doing it.
“so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,. . .” (Ephesians 5:26).
What else does Jude say about them?
“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!”
These men are dreamers. They are puffed up with themselves. They reject authority. They talk about angels (Messengers) Abba created perfectly and said they slept with women.
“The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey His Word. Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do His will” (Psalm 103: 19-21 NIV).
“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation” (Hebrews 1:14 NIV). 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 spies Joshua sent to spy out the land Messengers. John the Baptist was a messenger.
“Strong’s 4397: Malak: a messenger.”
Original Word: מַלְאָך Part of Speech: Noun Masculine Transliteration: Malak Phonetic Spelling: (mal-awk’) Short Definition: angel ambassadors (2), angel (101), angels (9), envoys (1), messenger (24), messengers (76).’
In Numbers chapter 16, we read about these men who were princes, leaders over the Tabernacle of the Lord Adonai. Over 250 of these men rose up against Moses and Aaron and wanted to be in the spotlight and control. If you read the entire chapter of Jude, which is only one chapter, it brings forth the topic of Moses’s death and these men that defile and despise angels. This chapter also goes hand in hand with 2nd Peter. I believe the subject is about the earth swallowing up these wicked men. These men were loud and hidden underneath. They came forth like these 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.
“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/ Torah Observant 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 their walk and obedience and less at the trite conflicts that divide us.
When these cicadas come forth, they have the loudest voice. Their sound is louder than all the insect kingdom. This should not be the way it is in the Spirit. The Body of Yeshua should not be flocking after the most booming voice. Still, the most humble—those who are upright and upright doesn’t mean living in a community with fellow believers who have separated from the rest of the Body due to them thinking other parts have things wrong or are usurping jezebels who can’t get their calendar, beard, sacred name, attire, the shape of the earth, the size of a Giants butt or the proper Torah portion to be a part of the group. I digress.
“For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you” (1 Corinthians 1:11 NASB).
Are we sucking each other’s sap? Are we stealing nutrients and water, fresh living water from our own bodies? People, it’s time for us to wake-up and be filled with His love and let perfect love cast out fear.
Can the Body come together and stop acting as Peter did right before Little Paul had to address him in front of everyone and rebuke him?
“But when Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him in public, because he was clearly wrong” ( Galatians 2:11 GNT). This wasn’t about whether the earth was flat or round. It was over hurting sheep.
Does anyone rebuke anymore? “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction” (2nd Timothy 4:2 NASB).
I guess I am. Who am I to rebuke? No one. A filthy rag. But I am grieved over My Body. My Body and Your Body and His Body. Let’s stop being like these sapsuckers, and instead of destroying each other, let’s sing a new song. A song that is loud in Abba’s ears and exalts Him who created it all and encompasses it all and allow His Holy Ruach Set-Apart Spirit knock this cicada out—yes, like my friend’s cat who happens to be named Shadow. His Feast days are a Shadow of things to come, and the sound of His shofar blowing should wake us up soon for the coming year. Let’s become more unified, more loving, kinder, and more at liberty.
Stay in the Light as Shadow below. Even a cool cat like Shadow knows how to keep Shabbat.
Photo rights given by Kisha Gallagher.