A Sting Operation

October 27, 2022
Volume 26, Number 33

With the Associated Press story of Rorie Woods being arrested is a photo of her wearing an unusual hat, one that covered her entire head and face. It’s the garb typically worn by beekeepers who want to protect themselves while they tend to their hives. Woods put this on just before deliberately opening several hives to release swarms of honeybees.

Deputies had arrived at the Springfield, Massachusetts home of Woods on the morning of October 12 to serve eviction papers. Soon after their arrival, Woods drove up with a trailer loaded with beehives. She reportedly began shaking the hives and broke the cover off one, which led to swarms of bees. Several officers were stung, including three who are allergic to beestings.

Now Woods is facing multiple assault and battery charges for her misguided actions. Had any of the deputies suffered fatal reactions to their beestings, she would also be facing murder charges. Thankfully, nothing more than a few whelps resulted from her malicious deed.

I’m not allergic to beestings, but I know from experience how painful they can be. Honeybees are not the worst; that distinction probably should go to hornets (though yellowjacket wasps pack quite a wallop). No stings are pleasant, though, and we understandably go out of our way to avoid them.

Interestingly, God uses the pain of beestings to illustrate warnings that were issued to His people. In Isaiah 7:18 we find this warning of punishment to come: “And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord will whistle for the fly that is in the farthest parts of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria.” God wasn’t talking about actual flies and bees, but of the armies of Egypt and Assyria who would be agents of pain for His rebellious people. These powerful foes would not destroy Israel and Judah but would serve as warnings against continued sinfulness.

Years earlier the image of a hornet was used, but in a positive way for God’s people: “I sent the hornet before you which drove them out from before you, also the two kings of the Amorites, but not with your sword or with your bow” (Joshua 24:12). How did Israel conquer the land of Canaan? Not by their own power, but by the “hornet” God sent before them. Again, a powerful sting was inflicted on God’s enemies.

The most dreaded sting of all comes not from a flying insect, but from death. 1 Corinthians 15:54,55 shows how God has mastered man’s greatest foe: “So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ‘O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?’” Jesus has removed the powerful, painful punch that death carried.

A bee flew into a car as a father and his young son drove down the road. The son was allergic to bee stings, so the father reached out and trapped the bee in his hand – then let it loose. “Dad,” the boy cried, “why did you let it go? You know how allergic I am to beestings!” The father opened his hand and showed his son the stinger in his hand. The bee was now powerless to hurt his son.

Jesus has taken the sting of death for us all. “… that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14,15).

Come to the light God offers!  Study His word, the Bible.  Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24).  Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.


Copyright, 2022, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).

“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.

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