what are locust in the bible

The Biblical Significance of Locusts: An Exploration of Symbolism and Meaning with a Youth Pastor

If you’re curious about the role of locusts in the Bible, you’re not alone! Locusts are mentioned several times in biblical stories, and their symbolism and significance have been debated and interpreted in various ways throughout the centuries.

what are locust in the bible

As a youth pastor who is deeply rooted in Christian teachings, I believe it’s important to understand the role of locusts in the Bible in order to grasp a deeper understanding of God’s message for us. This article will explore the Introduction to locusts in the Bible, the symbolism of locusts in biblical stories, notable biblical events involving locusts, the connection between locusts and divine judgment, and how locusts are used as a metaphor for personal growth and transformation.

So let’s dive in and explore the fascinating world of locusts in the Bible!

An Introduction to Locusts in the Bible

Locusts are a fascinating and often misunderstood creature in the Bible. They appear throughout both the Old and New Testaments, representing different things depending on the context.

In Exodus, locusts were one of the ten plagues God inflicted upon Egypt to convince Pharaoh to release His people. In this instance, they represented destruction and punishment.

However, in other parts of Scripture such as Joel 1:4-7 or Revelation 9:3-11, locusts symbolize an army sent by God to bring judgment upon those who have turned away from Him.

Despite their negative connotations in some instances, it’s important to recognize that locusts also hold significance for Christians beyond just their symbolic meaning. For example, John the Baptist is said to have subsisted on a diet of honey and wild locusts during his time preaching in the wilderness (Mark 1:6).

Overall though what we can take away from these passages is that although sometimes seen as destructive forces sent by God – ultimately they serve a purpose within His plan for humanity. And as with any element of our faith or life journeying with Christ — it serves us well not only study them but seek out understanding around why specific images like this might be so prominent within scripture itself; helping us better understand its teachings overall!

The symbolism of locusts in Biblical stories

The symbolism of locusts in biblical stories is a fascinating topic for those seeking to deepen their understanding of Christianity. In the Bible, locusts are often associated with destruction and punishment. They are portrayed as swarms that devour crops and cause widespread devastation.

One notable example is found in the book of Exodus, where God uses a swarm of locusts as one of ten plagues to punish Egypt for their mistreatment of the Israelites. The swarm was so massive that it covered the entire land, causing tremendous damage to crops and vegetation.

However, there may be more nuanced meanings behind this imagery than just punishment alone. Locusts also represent transformation and renewal in Christian symbolism. They go through several stages before they reach maturity – from egg to nymph to adult – which can symbolize spiritual growth or personal development.

Furthermore, some theologians interpret these passages as metaphors for repentance and redemption. Just like how a swarm can devastate an area but eventually move on, individuals too can overcome destructive behaviors or attitudes by acknowledging them (repentance) and taking steps towards positive change (redemption).

Overall, understanding the symbolism behind biblical references such as locust swarms adds depth and meaning when interpreting scripture passages related to themes such as judgment or renewal/rebirth. As youth pastors at Christian churches work towards educating young believers about various aspects within Christianity’s rich history; exploring symbolic meanings like these help bridge gaps between ancient texts & modern times while instilling strong foundational knowledge amongst future generations!

Notable Biblical events involving locusts

The Bible is full of fascinating stories and events, including a number that involve locusts. These insects are mentioned numerous times throughout the Old and New Testaments, often as symbols of destruction or judgment.

One notable biblical event involving locusts occurred in the book of Exodus. In this story, God sends a plague of locusts to Egypt as part of his plan to convince Pharaoh to release the Israelites from slavery. The swarms were so thick they “darkened all the land” (Exodus 10:15), causing widespread devastation and famine.

Another well-known story involving locusts is found in the book of Joel. This prophetic book describes a massive swarm that descends upon Judah, devouring everything in its path and leaving behind only barren wasteland. However, Joel also offers hope for restoration and redemption for those who turn back to God.

The Book Revelation also features an apocalyptic vision where John sees “locusts like horses” (Revelation 9:7) with stingers like scorpions tormenting humanity during a time known as “the end days.”

While these events may seem strange or even frightening at first glance, they offer valuable lessons about obedience to God’s will and our responsibility towards each other on earth.

As Christians seek deeper understanding through scripture study it can be helpful when exploring these topics by seeking guidance from religious leaders such as pastors or youth pastors who can help us interpret what we read into practical application for our lives today

The connection between locusts and divine judgment


In the Bible, locusts are often associated with divine judgment. These swarming insects can devastate crops and cause famine, leading to widespread suffering and poverty.

However, it’s important to note that not all instances of locust plagues in the Bible are necessarily a form of punishment from God. In some cases, they may simply be a natural disaster or part of the ecosystem.

That being said, there are several passages in which locusts are explicitly described as instruments of God’s wrath. For example, in the book of Joel, he describes an “army” of locusts that ravages the land like fire:

“The appearance of them is as horses; and as horsemen so shall they run… before their face shall be much pain: all faces shall gather blackness” (Joel 2:4-6).

Similarly, in Exodus 10:12-15 we read about how Moses called down a swarm of locusts upon Egypt as part of God’s punishment for Pharaoh’s refusal to release Israelites from slavery.

While these stories may seem harsh or even terrifying at first glance – especially for those new to Christianity – it’s important to remember that they’re ultimately meant to teach us something about ourselves and our relationship with God.

For instance, we might see these stories as cautionary tales about what happens when people refuse to listen or obey divine commands. They also remind us that while we may sometimes feel helpless against forces beyond our control (such as natural disasters), we can always turn towards faith for comfort and guidance.

So if you ever come across references to locust plagues while reading your Bible study materials – don’t panic! Instead take time out learn more about how these events fit into larger themes within scripture such love,care,respect,humility among others .

Locusts as a metaphor for personal growth and transformation

In the Bible, locusts are often used as a metaphor for personal growth and transformation. Just as a swarm of locusts can devastate an area but ultimately lead to new growth and renewal, so too can the challenges and struggles we face in life ultimately lead to positive change.

One example of this is found in Joel 2:25-26, where God promises to restore what has been lost or destroyed by locusts. This restoration is not just physical, but also spiritual – it represents a new beginning and an opportunity for personal transformation.

As we go through difficult times in our own lives, it can be helpful to remember this metaphor. While it may feel like everything around us is being destroyed, there is always the potential for something new and beautiful to grow from those ashes.

In fact, some scholars believe that John the Baptist’s diet of locusts (Matthew 3:4) was symbolic of his own journey towards spiritual transformation. By eating these insects that were associated with destruction but also renewal, he was demonstrating his commitment to overcoming obstacles on his path towards enlightenment.

So if you find yourself facing challenges or setbacks on your own journey towards personal growth and transformation – whether that be through faith or other means – take heart in knowing that even something as seemingly destructive as a swarm of locusts can ultimately lead you towards greater strength and resilience.


Locusts in the Bible are no mere insects, but rather powerful symbols that can help us interpret and understand many of the stories from scripture. From Noah’s time to John the Baptist’s time and beyond, locusts have been used to represent divine judgment, mass destruction, personal growth, and transformation. If you’re interested in learning more about how locust imagery is used throughout Christian theology join our church today!