Troublesome Topic: Lessons from the Insects that Fly and Jump

Insects that fly were off limits. Insects that crawl on the ground were off limits.

The one kind of flying insect they could eat was the kind that “walks” on four legs, and has two additional legs specifically designed for jumping. We would say it has six legs, but God divided them in to two types of legs based on their purpose. But it can also fly at least to some degree. Of the four examples given, three are probably locusts and the fourth appears to be a grasshopper. The emphasis seems to be on the presence of legs specially designed for jumping.

The grasshopper was considered in the law as a flying insect. It often crawls in the dust, but it can leave the dust by jumping and taking flight for a short distance. However, the word at the end of verse 21 is not “dust,” but “earth,” which is neutral. The use of the word “earth” may hint at the concept of “dust” for everyone knows that when a grasshopper crawls around on the earth, he is crawling in the dust. The ability to quickly leave one’s setting seems to be the emphasis for these animals, and dust is what the grasshopper leaves when he jumps and flies.

If you live in a negative, unwholesome environment, don’t let yourself get stuck there; get out of there some times; take flight every once in a while. Find refuge in God’s word, in prayer and in fellowship with fellow believers who can encourage you and hold you accountable.

The other three animals mentioned in this context appear to be different types of locusts, which one does not see in the dust but rather on plants. The people despised them because they were so destructive to crops. But here the emphasis is not on how much they consume but rather on their jumping ability. They can move on to other sources of food or avoid danger by jumping and then flying. They were considered clean because they taught the lesson that God has equipped us with the ability to get out of a situation that does not glorify Him. He did not equip us with the ability of “get out of there” so we could avoid uncomfortable situations or get away from something we don’t like, rather He gave that to us so we could get away from situations which would compromise us spiritually. A good example is how Joseph fled from Potiphar’s wife even though he ended up in jail because of it.

The next lesson in the full series on Covenants is: Are Animals with Scales Good or Bad?