Murder Hornets and Wild Beasts
Around this time a couple of years ago, we got the devastating news that Murder Hornets had
been spotted in the United States. Their venom was reported to be so potent that it can dissolve
human flesh and kill a mouse in a few seconds. After months of shutdowns, masks, politics and
other drama, the murder hornet scare was just, like, "Yep. Of course. Of course, there are
murder hornets coming to kill us all.
For some reason, the murder hornets invading at our weakest moment struck me as absolutely
hilarious. It was a "Release the Kracken!" moment for me, like something from a B-movie, or
Austin Powers. Meme after meme was released on social media. One said, "Land sharks are the
next plague after the murder hornets. Be READY!"
If you were born in this century, you probably don't get the reference. Land Shark was a
Saturday Night Live take on the movie Jaws back in the day. knock knock knock, Who's
there...? Plumber? I didn't ask for a plumber. Knock knock knock. Who's there? Telegram. Oh
OK. Cue Jaws music and the door opens to a Land Shark biting off the head of the unsuspecting
occupant. Look it up on YouTube! It's still pretty funny, even if it's (Yikes) almost as old I am!
I could imagine Murder Hornets knocking on my door like the landshark. Cue up the Jaws
music or the music from Psycho!!!
In our culture where bad news sells-what is the saying, "If it bleeds, it leads"? -we can settle
into a spirit of pessimism and become disheartened. We come to expect bad news. Murder
Hornets? -yes. Financial crisis? -Of course. Sickness? -why not? Delay, delay, delay?
Right. Par for the course. Same stuff, different day.
I find myself turning cynical and praying, "Lord, is this how it's going to be? I'm trying to
grow. I want to reach people and make a difference. I'm doing my work as 'unto the Lord' and
I'm not seeing the progress I want to see. Others are prospering, and I'm stuck here watching
them, wanting to be there, and waiting, not very patiently, for my turn, IF it's ever coming.
What are You doing, Lord? Am I even in the right place? Is evil always going to win?"
And what does He do? He sends Murder Hornets.
Cue up the children of Israel. God had promised His people a land flowing with milk and
honey. He had led them through the Red Sea, through the wilderness; He'd given them victories
along the way, and He was preparing them to cross the Jordan into the promised land. He
declared the Shema in Deuteronomy 6:4 - "Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is
one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your
strength. He cautioned His people, "be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you
out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery." (Verse 12)
As He continues to give them instructions about how to proceed into the Promised Land, He
warns that fear and doubt are going to be issues. "You may say to yourselves 'These nations are
stronger than we are. How can we drive them out?'" (Deuteronomy 7:17)
God anticipated the fears and doubts His children would have, and likewise, the kinds of
questions and doubts we have. What are things we think are "stronger than we are"? The
economy, culture, the competition, personalities, politics, or sometimes it's our own weaknesses
or the work itself that seem overpowering. There's so much to think about, to do, and I can get
paralyzed by my doubts and fears. Am I adequate for the task? Is the timing right? Will there be
a return on this investment? Will I be crushed before I even begin?
God tells His people to remember well what the LORD your God did-"You saw with your
own eye the great trials, the signs and wonders, the mighty hand and outstretched arm, with
which the LORD your God brought you out." -and He reassures them by adding, "Moreover,
the LORD your God will send the hornet among them..." (verse 20).
I confess, I have an insane fear of flying stinging insects, and if it's a choice between staying
where I am with my doubts and trusting God with hornets... what's a girl to do!?
Like the Israelites, we should start with remembering what God had done in the past. Has He
ever been anything but faithful? Has He ever led me on a path to harm me? No! In fact, His
promise is that He has plans, NOT to harm me (Jeremiah 29:11). Plans for a hope and a future.
And I can trust Him when, as the MSG version puts it, He unleashes the Hornet - capital H,
Hornet, like something from the Marvel Universe! I can trust Him. The Hornets are on the way!
I did some digging on the word hornet...one commentary noted that in the Hebrew it might not
be a literal hornet, although the hornet could get into the tiniest spaces to route the enemy, and
in the prophets, the bee and the ant were symbols of Israel's enemies so it could be literal.
Figuratively literal, anyway, since it's kind of a symbol. However, it also could be translated
and interpreted differently. The word translated as hornet could be derived from a word that
signified military defeat without the use of weapons, God's super-secret weapon, possibly even
the Holy Spirit. He doesn't need my weapons to route the enemy, to overcome evil. He's got it
covered by His power and His Spirit. A supernatural Hornet! Makes me think of the Michael
W. Smith song, which says, "This is how I fight my battles! It may look like I'm surrounded,
but I'm surrounded by You!"
God says, "Do not be terrified by them, for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a great
and awesome God." (Deuteronomy 7:21)
As we recall God's faithfulness, we can look for evidence that He is working. Maybe someone
asks about your business. Someone you've served in the past recommends you to a friend. Or
that conference you attended inspired a new idea, or a new way you and/or your business could
I keep a notepad by my bed because I'll often have a clear thought or idea for my business or
my book or my blog that comes to me just as I relax, or it's the name of someone I need to
contact or encourage, or an idea I need to stress in my Sunday School class. I write my thoughts
down on the notepad before I forget them. I believe they are evidence that God is working
behind the scenes in my mind and spirit with His perfect secret weapon, working even when I
am my own worst enemy.
Then God says something curious is verse 22. "The LORD your God will drive out those
nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the
wild animals will multiply around you."
"Little by little" is NOT my preferred way to do things. There is a reason advertisers promise
quick results, whether it's weight loss, rock-hard abs, or becoming a millionaire by Tuesday. I
saw a Facebook ad for "How to write your book in 7 days!" It takes me a day or more to write,
record, edit and share this podcast! I can't imagine the great American novel being written in 7
days. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
God is all about process. Little by little. Step by step. Notice His protection in the process. If the
Israelites were successful too quickly, the wild animals would take over. So if your progress in
your goals, your growth, or your business is slower than you would like, it could be because
God is protecting you from the wild animals.
Wild animals like greed, or discontent, or hurry, or impulsiveness. Maybe I get prideful if I
succeed too quickly. Maybe I think I did it all by myself, like a spiritual toddler, puffed up with
my accomplishment. Maybe the wild animal is overspending, or overeating, or overworking,
and God is there to hold you back so that you can be overcoming! Do not grieve that the
process is taking longer than you'd like. Our Heavenly Father is a great and awesome God. He
is in the business of transformation. It takes as long as it takes. He can be trusted with the
Our promised land is a place not built with human hands. No weapon formed against us will
prosper. In the face of calamity, or interruptions, or standstills, God has his Hornet ready to
come to our aid.
And when our success are not as fast as we would like, He is holding back the wild beasts to
protect us from the enemy and from ourselves.
He truly is a great and awesome God!
Your Word is powerful and current! How well you know me! If I question my ability or my
purpose, You say, "I will supply all your need according to My riches." If I am frightened, You
say, "I have a secret weapon at your disposal." If I am doubtful, You remind me of Your
awesome deeds both before and in my time. When I am impatient, You say, "My timing is
perfect, let Me protect you from what you cannot see." Thank you for being a great and
awesome God. Thank you for routing the enemy with your Hornets and for keeping me in Your
care. Help me trust You and walk at Your pace, running neither ahead of nor lagging behind
Your perfect plan.
In Jesus name, Amen
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I'll link the video of the Land Shark skit and the Michael W. Smith song in the show notes. And
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