As I walked down my street after a spring shower, I came upon an earthworm convention holding their first meeting of the year. Since sidestepping the wriggly critters seemed impossible, I crossed the street. As I continued walking I pondered the words of the old hymn "At the Cross" about Jesus dying "for such a worm as I." Does God compare us to worms? I wondered. Is that how He thinks of us?
When I got home I grabbed my concordance, determined to discover if God compares human beings to worms. In Micah 7:15-17 God says:
"I will do mighty miracles for you, like those when I brought you out of slavery in Egypt. All the world will stand amazed at what I will do for you, and be embarrassed at their puny might. They will stand in silent awe, deaf to all around them." They will see what snakes they are, lowly as worms crawling from their holes. They will come trembling out from their fortresses to meet the Lord our God. They will fear him; they will stand in awe (The Living Bible).
In this passage God speaks of the proud and arrogant finally realizing how small and unworthy they are in His presence after seeing Him miraculously deliver His children.
Since I couldn't find any other Scripture verses that compare human beings to worms, I searched for comparisons to another familiar critter. Isaiah 40:21-23 reads:
"Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; . . . who brings princes to nothing and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness."
Once again, no matter how high or exalted their position in this world, human beings are weak and small in comparison to Almighty God.
I found another critter comparison in the Book of Numbers. This time the Israelites viewed themselves as grasshoppers compared to the inhabitants of the Promised Land. After exploring the land, 10 of the returning Israelite spies reported, "The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. ...We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them" (13:32-33, NIV).
Joshua and Caleb reminded the people that God had promised them the land and He would help them defeat their enemies. "Do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them" (14:9, NIV). But the people rebelled anyway. In their eyes they were grasshoppers, their enemies were giants and either God was not in the picture or He was a grasshopper too! What was God's response to this distorted view?
"I vow by my own name that just as it is true that all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord, so it is true that not one of the men who has seen my glory and the miracles I did both in Egypt and in the wilderness--and ten times refused to trust and obey me--shall even see the land I promised" (14:21-23, The Living Bible).
What if the people had said, "We and all our enemies are as weak as grasshoppers compared to Almighty God. Since He has told us He will defeat our enemies, and they are no match for Him, we will go forward in His strength and power and we will be victorious." How different the outcome would have been!
The antidote for both human pride and false humility is seeing ourselves through God's eyes in our relationship to Him.
Though we are weak and small compared to Almighty God, we are not valueless or unimportant to Him.
Jesus told His followers: "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows" (Matthew 10:29-31).
God never calls His children worms.
© by Nancy A. Stevens