After Agur gleans lessons for us from the ant and the rock badger, he turns to the locust. Proverbs 30:27 says, The locusts have no king, yet all of them march in rank.” Locusts are grasshoppers? Growing up in Nebraska, I always thought that locusts were cicadas. So, I was surprised to learn that they were flying grasshoppers. I’ve seen lots of them, but we always called them grasshoppers. Agur tells us to consider the key aspect of these little insignificant creatures, and we’ll learn one of the most important lessons of life. Two are better than one, and three are better still. Our money still holds the motto: “E Pluribus Unum.” We all know that this Latin phrase means “from the many comes one.” As individuals, we’re truly insignificant with respect to what we can accomplish. Yet if we work together, there are no limits to what might be accomplished.

This is such an obvious truth. We see the power of unity all around us in everyday life.  There is a season for all the major sports that require teamwork. In the fall, it’s football. In the winter, it’s Basketball, and in the spring, it’s baseball. The better the players work together, the better the whole team fares. An orchestra demands harmony to produce anything worth listening to. The ancient redwood trees in California have survived for so long and have grown to be huge because their roots intertwine to support each other. A rope is so strong because it’s made up of more than one strand. If this is such an obvious truth, why do we continue to compete, condemn, criticize, correct, cause contention, and sabotage the accomplishment of good works for the greater good?

The locust is indeed an incredibly small creature that, when it bans together with others, will take over hundreds of miles of croplands. It will drive all inhabitants off the land, taking all the spoil for itself, and each individual little grasshopper will have more than enough to eat while the larger, higher life forms experience a famine. In 1 Corinthians 1:10, Paul exhorts the Christians. He writes, “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree, and there be no divisions among you, but you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.” Paul was well aware of the fact that we are at our best when we set aside our own ambitions and throw all our efforts into the common good, instead of putting energy into unhealthy rivalries.