Insects of the Bible – Tom H. Ratcliffe

Paperback, 81 pages, Published by Bell and Bain Ltd, Glasgow. [Available from John Ritchie Limited]. ISBN: 978 1 871642 810.

It may be that if you have never had an interest in entomology then you may not naturally pick this book up. However, the book does live up to its promise in the foreword that it is reader friendly; it is written in a very easy style and can be read in one sitting, despite the potential for its subject matter to seem uninspiring. The lessons drawn from the book could actually be very useful to young believers who are trying to understand some aspects of ‘how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God’, 1 Tim. 3. 15.
Setting out the nine insects in the introduction the writer commences with the ant, applying the most obvious scripture verse, ‘go to the ant thou sluggard; consider her ways and be wise’, Prov. 6. 6-8. Working from the idea that ‘the social life of an ant’s nest is an excellent example of how a company of Christians should function’, the writer then draws interesting parallels with the various ant types and church life and responsibility.

There are similar instructive parallels drawn from the drone and worker bee, although the author would be advised not to over spiritualize, as, for example, in the case of the queen bee where he suggests that she is the source of the hive’s prosperity, as the Lord is the divine source of all blessings in the church. But even though we ‘offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually’, Heb. 13. 15, which He appreciates, He is not dependent on us, as the queen is dependent on the workers for nutrition.
The lesson from the ‘flies in the ointment of the apothecary’, Eccles. 10. 1, is used to signify those who are ‘dead in trespasses and sins’ who, if given the opportunity to be amongst the company of God’s people, mask the fragrance of true worship. Then, toward the end of the book, there are a number of practical and challenging lessons from the activity and nature of the locust which the writer applies to believers. 
The writer’s love and affection for the Saviour and His people is evident, and because of that the present reviewer found the book a surprising joy to read.

Our thanks to Bill Brady, Killamarsh, England for this review


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