Many, many years ago, when I was just eighteen years old, I started to read and study the bible; It was at the very beginning of my walk with a God I barely knew or even believed in. It was about that time, I met a young man, only one year older than me. He loved the bible too and at his young age of 19, he knew so much. He agreed to study with me and it wasn’t long before we reached Psalm 22, a ‘song’ written by King David, a musician and psalmist. The young man aspired to teach seminars on the subject of Creationism. Just as my hearts desire was to serve God through music, he, being a scientist, had a strong desire to serve God and present the study of Creationism, which strives to make a case, based on scientific evidence, that God is indeed the creator of heaven and earth and debunk the theory of evolution. One of my first bible studies with the young man was about a small worm. The memory is vivid and it’s such a precious biblical lesson that, I must share it with you.
Psalm 22:6 presents us with simple words with a hidden meaning: “I Am a Worm and no longer a Man.” To begin with, there is a worm, the Crimson or Scarlet worm. It’s story, it’s life, speaks volumes. Let me tell you about the scarlet worm. This worm climbs onto a tree all by itself. By its own choiceit attaches and even ‘secures’ itself to the tree, knowing it will not come down off that tree alive. It goes to the tree to birth a family and to do that it must die in the process. Once on the tree the crimson worm attaches itself to the tree because the body of the worm will be the shelter for the young. during the birthing process, the worm secretes a gel or crimson colored fluid which covers the eggs that she lays (this leaves a stain on the tree so when you see such a stain, you will know, a crimson worm was the cause.) At first glance, the reader of the Psalm might not think much about this sentence, “I AM A Worm”. In the story of Moses and the burning bush, when God calls Moses to go back to Egypt and speak to the pharaoh and tell him to “let my people Go”, Moses asks the voice coming from the fire, “Who shall I say sent me?” And God said, “Tell them, I AM”. And so, I Am is another name for God. I love this name because God is not “I was” or “The God, I will Be”, He is an ever-present God and TODAY we are called to seek HIM. (Exodus 3:14). Psalm 22:6 is the first verse in this psalm where King David (1000 years before Christ) describes the crucifixion of the Messiah. And the God, I Am goes on to liken Himself to A Worm, the scarlet worm. A few more things about “coccus ilicis”, yet another name for the scarlet or crimson worm that you should know. The worm stays for three days, covering it’s eggs with its blood-like fluid. Then, the fluid is scraped from the tree and is used as a dye.This dye was used in the old testament times for the high priests garments and for the sanctuary linens. Additionally, the dead worm, when scraped off the tree (after the three days and in fact on the fourth day) it becomes the ingredient of medicines as it has healing powers. (“By His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5).