Palmetto Bugs

Currently, I am a Texan, but I am in an online program in a school that is based in Florida.

If, prayerfully, I complete the program, it is doubtful that I will fly to Florida to attend the graduation ceremony because, apparently, due to the constant heat, Florida rivals Texas in one despicable aspect: cockroaches!

If you web search states with the worst cockroach problems, Texas and Florida will be neck and neck.

Many Texans refer to cockroaches as water bugs. Well, as my sister discovered, when she visited Florida on vacation many years ago, many Floridians refer to cockroaches as palmetto bugs. During my sister’s stay, she was horrified to see cockroaches in her fancy hotel room. She ran downstairs and informed the front desk of the issue. The woman at the front desk chuckled, waved her hand nonchalantly, and replied, “Oh, those are just palmetto bugs. They are seasonal.” My sister replied, “I do not care what fancy name you give them. I am from New York and, in New York, those are called cockroaches, and you will only find them in the nastiest, dirtiest places.”

cockroachPerhaps there are slight entomological variations and distinctions between water bugs, palmetto bugs, and similar insects, but, for argument’s sake, we can label them all under the disgusting umbrella of cockroaches. And giving cockroaches a cuter, more palatable name does not change what they are, or make them any less disgusting.

Similarly, today, sin is referred to as one’s lifestyle, one’s identity, one’s personal life choices, one’s preference, one’s DNA. Some might refer to it as their struggle, their mistake, their screw up—these softer, more palatable terms do not change what it is: sin, something disgusting, repugnant, and reprehensible to God.

I used to wonder why God created such horrifying creatures as cockroaches. I soon realized that God, in His wisdom and lovingkindness, deals with us the way that any loving parent would deal with a child: He gives us examples that help us to learn and understand. This is why the arguments against Christians wearing mixed fabrics and eating shellfish is a silly one because God simply gave those mandates in the Old Testament so that the children of Israel could begin to understand and distinguish between right and wrong, good and evil, clean and unclean (Leviticus 10:10; Ezekiel 22:26, 44:23); God was giving His children object lessons (bear in mind that the Bible was not yet completed, these people were not born again, and they were not filled with God’s Holy Spirit, who could more explicitly guide and instruct them).

Now, we have the entirety of God’s written word, Old and New Testaments, which give us, not only the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law. Furthermore, those of us who are born again and filled with the Holy Spirit have an instinctual understanding of right and wrong.

Isaiah 30:21
and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

John 14:26
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

John 16:13
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Titus 2:13-14
13 looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

14 who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

I truly believe that God created cockroaches, in part, as an object lesson for humans to better understand how He views sin. Most people are horrified, disgusted, and recoil at the sight of a cockroach. This is how God reacts to sin. And giving our sin a cute name does not make God any less disgusted or repulsed by it.

So let us start calling it what it is. But, more important, let us confess our sins and, by the redeeming power of the Lord Jesus Christ and with the help of God’s Word and His Holy Spirit, let us forsake them.

Proverbs 28:13
He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

John 5:14
Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

John 8:10-11
10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Psalm 51
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness:
according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions:
and my sin is ever before me.

4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned,
and done this evil in thy sight:
that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest,
and be clear when thou judgest.
5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity;
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts:
and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean:
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me to hear joy and gladness;
that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
9 Hide thy face from my sins,
and blot out all mine iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God;
and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from thy presence;
and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation;
and uphold me with thy free spirit.
13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways;
and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation:
and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
15 O Lord, open thou my lips;
and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it:
thou delightest not in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit:
a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion:
build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness,
with burnt offering and whole burnt offering:
then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

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