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Finding Jesus in a worm

The other day I came across Isaiah 41:14

Do not fear, O worm of Jacob, O few men of Israel. I will help you,” declares the LORD. “Your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.”

… So I had a little talk –

“That isn’t very nice, Lord, to call Jacob, a worm.” and he said,

“Look Deeper.”

It didn’t call him a worm – it called him a tōwlaaṯ (in Hebrew) or a Scarlet worm or Tola. Strongs 8438.

In the Old Testament there are two words used to describe worms. Rimmah – which means maggot – relating to death and decay and the word Towlaat, which refers to the Tola worm or scarlet worm/crimson worm.

According to a newsletter put out by Lanny and Marylin Johnson at the crimson worm (Coccus ilicis) is a scale worm that feeds off of the oaks in the mountains of Israel.

The word is also used throughout Exodus to describe the color Crimson used in rituals and clothing of the priests because the Tola worm was used to dye the cloth to make scarlet or crimson fabric. Once dyed the wool was said to never lose its color. It was permanently stained.

When you look at the life cycle of the female worm it gets even more interesting –

The female worm permanently attaches herself to the tree, creates a hard scale over her and lays the eggs beneath her on the tree.

The eggs are protected until they hatch and they are nourished by the mother’s body as she dies.

When the mother dies a crimson stain covers the body, permanently stains the larvae and spreads down the tree.

After three days, the dead mother Crimson worm’s body loses its crimson color and turns into a white wax which falls to the ground like snow.

The Crimson worm is collected and dried and turned into dye which is used by the priest to dye priestly garments,

to purify lepers,

as an antiseptic,

to mix with the ashes of the red heifer,

to purify the sacrifice made for sin…

When Bildad the Shuhite declared that man cannot be righteous, even he equated the Messiah with the Tola worm…

Job 25:1-6

Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:

2“Dominion and awe belong to God;

He establishes harmony in the heights of heaven.

3Can His troops be numbered?

On whom does His light not rise?

4How then can a man be just before God?

How can one born of woman be pure?

5If even the moon does not shine,

and the stars are not pure in His sight,

6how much less man, who is but a maggot, (rimmah)

and the son of man, who is but a worm!” (tola)

This word is also used in Psalms 22 – which is a description of Christ the Messiah.

Psalms 22:6

I am a worm (Tola), not a man, scorned by man and despised by the people.

But the coolest revelation was one that the Holy Spirit gave me himself.

After struggling for a few days writing this I sat down to journal with Holy Spirit …

here is how it went…

Tell me about the worm, Lord…

I use the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. The prophets of old were telling of the Messiah… how could I not speak of a worm…

despised and rejected, hated, looked down upon.

They were looking for a Savior, for a King clothed in Glory

and I gave them a worm.

Who gives birth to future generations beneath its tabernacle,

in His presence,

who died upon a tree and left a crimson stain.

The worm is taken and made into a blood red dye.

It purifies, it cleanses, it covers everything.

It is rare.

It must be sought out.

Not easy to come by ,

It is precious.

In looking for a King, my people felt unworthy.

In looking for a worm, my glory is revealed.

Let the King of Glory enter in.

There is one other place where the Tola worm shows up...

Remember Jonah? He is known for disobeying God when he was sent to Ninevah to urge them to repent and getting swallowed by a fish... but a less talked about part of the story is what happened next...

Here is the rest of the story...

Ninevah repented and Jonah went off to pout because He really wanted God to wipe them off the face of the earth. He knew God was a God of mercy and compassion and sure enough God forgave them. How dare he give them what they didnt deserve... Jonah was off throwing a proper fit in a shelter he made under the hot sun.

God then caused a plant to grow up and shade him while he pouted. Jonah loved that plant.

Then God appointed a Tola worm to attack the plant and cause it to wither away so Jonah was sad.

God sent the Scarlet worm again to be a wakeup call to the hyppocrites that think that Gods mercy is only for the perfect,

to show that compassion for the broken and repentent is actually God's most perfect plan.

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About Me


I'm Katharine Fly.

I'm the wife of a railroader/farmer.

I'm a mom of 8 plus one amazing son in law.

I have a lot of cows and some sheep and chickens. I sell houses and run a small Real Estate/ Property Management business in Clovis, NM. I am a student at Global Awakening College of Ministry...

But most of all, I just have a massive crush on Jesus.

He is everything to me. 


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