The Crimson Worm


But I am a worm and not a man. I am scorned and despised by all!

~Psalm 22:6, NLT


Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow? There’s power in the blood; Sin stains are lost in its life giving flow; There’s wonderful power in the blood.

~Lewis E. Jones

If you are from GRACE POINT: You might want to skp the blog. It was the illustration I used yesterday morning in communion.

Usually in the Bible, the Hebrew word for a worm is “rimmah”, which means a maggot – but the Hebrew word used here in Psalm 22 for worm, is TOLA’ATH, which means “Crimson worm” or “Scarlet worm”. Both scarlet and crimson are the colors of blood–deep red. Generally speaking, when we think of a worm, we think of a helpless creature that lives in the dirt; we picture an earth worm, the kind we put on a fish hook. These little creatures are helpless; they have no defense mechanisms. People don’t respect them, value them or appreciate them. I’ve know folks that have pet snakes which is detestable to me but I’ve never heard of anyone who has a pet worm, have you. No one loves the lowly helpless worm.

We treated Jesus with contempt–we treated the Son of God as if He was worthless. We scorned Him, mocked Him; we even sneered at Him and said, Is this the one who relies on the Lord? Then let the Lord save Him! If the Lord loves Him so much, let the Lord rescue him!” In other words, we did not treat Him like a man, or a human. We gave Him absolutely no respect. We treated Him like a worm; as if He was worthless. But interestingly here in Psalm 22, the word Tola’ath is used and that refers to the Scarlet or Crimson worm which is more like a grub. It bears the red, scarlet or crimson color…a deep red like blood.

“When the female of the scarlet worm is ready to give birth to her young, she attaches her body to the trunk of a tree, fixing herself so firmly and permanently that she would never leave again. The eggs deposited beneath her body were thus protected until the larvae were hatched and able to enter their own life cycle. As the mother dies, she secrets the crimson fluid that stains the tree and her offspring. For there entire life cycle, the worms will be scarlet or crimson. From the dead bodies of such female scarlet worms, the commercial scarlet dyes of antiquity were extracted. After three days, the scarlet worm loses it’s color and becomes as white as snow which brings Isaiah 1:18 to mind… “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.”

A very stressful week for me and I’m glad it is over: I will say this, the LORD is good and He answered some prayers and I am thankful. Yesterday was another thanksgiving day for me.

Well, I did not watch the ballgame and I’m glad that I did not: I didn’t see a single play so I can’t replay them in my mind. When June told me we had lost by a field goal, I figured it was 20-17. I was shocked at the points scored. I had picked Auburn by 3 but not 48-45. I went to bed about 9:00 PM and slept like a baby until 12:30. Woke up wide awake and went to my building to study and pray. I laid back down about 3:45 but couldn’t go to sleep but I did meditate. I went all day Sunday on three hours of sleep. I’m just glad it is over and as bad as I hate losing to Auburn, I sure don’t want to lose of Ohio State. I will be pulling for who ever played them: Clemson, LSU or Georgia.

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