What Good Are Cicadas?

By , July 26, 2012

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander, no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.
Proverbs 6:6-8 (NIV)

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These “bugs” or flying insects are native to eastern Canada and the United States as well as other countries worldwide. Estimates vary concerning how many species of cicadas there are worldwide but it ranges from 1,500 to 2,500. The best known is the 17 year cicada. The last stage in the life of this 17 year cicada comes after 17 years of “hibernation”.

In my country, no hot sticky summer’s day would be complete without the familiar buzzing sound of this creature. So, their “song” fills the summer air in my area of the world just as their earlier cycle of development as nymphs many fill the stomachs of fish and small animals.

Cicadas, as do all forms of life, show remarkable engineering in the way their bodies are constructed. Also, like so many creatures, they have a highly developed computer like brain that is programmed to guide them through their life cycles.

I marvel at how Cicadas know where to lay their eggs, how to sing their unique song on a hot summer’s day, and for some species of them, to stay hidden away for exactly 17 years before showing up as adults to reproduce and die.

In speaking to lazy people, Proverbs says, “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.” Proverbs 6:6-8 (NIV)

Studying different species of insects and animals carefully lets us see the fascinating design and diversity of what the Lord has made for us to enjoy. We also learn from them lessons in life that can be applied to ourselves.

So whether we look through a telescope at the vast universe in space or examine a tiny creature on our own planet that is an inch or so long, we are observing the wisdom of God and can worship Him for His wonders displayed in what He has made.

After considering such a tiny, seemingly insignificant creature as a cicada we need to ponder ourselves—who have been made in the image of God. God has conferred a special dignity to humanity and sent His beloved Son to live among us as a man. We are the pinnacle of God’s creative activity and we are especially loved and desired by Him.

Biological evolution teaches us that we are nothing more than the culmination of nature’s creative activity and so we are really no more significant than a cicada. All we are is more complex and developed.

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