“In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats, … for fear of the Lord ….” (Isaiah 2:20-21a).
MOLES: DIGGING FOR THE GLORY OF GOD
James J. S. Johnson
The day will come, before Messiah (Jesus) returns in power and judgment, when God-rejecting idolaters will cower in fear, trying to hide in the earth, knowing that their accountability is ripe: “In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats, … for fear of the Lord ….” (Isaiah 2:20-21a). The English word “mole” (in KJV) is a translation of the Hebrew noun chapharpêrâh, derived from the verb châphar, meaning “to dig” – and digging is what moles are best known for doing. (For illustrations of the Hebrew verb châphar, “to dig”, see Genesis 21:30 & Ecclesiastes 10:8.)
How do moles dig?
“The mole excavates its burrow by backward strokes and lateral thrusts of the front feet. Loose earth is moved and pushed to the surface by thrusts of the front feet. In excavating shallow runs, the mole merely pushes up the earth to form a ridge, again by lateral thrusts of the front feet while the mole is turned partly on its side.” [Quoting David J. Schmidly, THE MAMMALS OF TEXAS (Univ. of Texas Press, 2004), page 60.]
Who taught the mole to do such underground digging, and to do it so successfully that moles live all over much of America? Who equipped the mole with the anatomy it needs to do this subterranean work?
Those who intelligently design and/or carefully operate oil-drilling equipment can appreciate the digging powers of moles, because digging underground is an art! Innovative petroleum engineers deserve to be appreciated for their underground earth-burrowing technology. If you think serious underground digging is “simple” try drilling for oil — or try to mine out minerals from under the earth!
But oil-drilling equipment cannot reproduce itself into generation-after-generation families of their kind – yet moles reproduce successfully, all around America, and we don’t notice or appreciate it. God, however, deserves praise for equipping the humble mole for its down-to-earth (or rather, down-under-the-earth) station in life.
Moles are created to dig and they do – to God’s glory! Their Creator is worthy of worship (Revelation 4:11). Idolatry is foolish; we should avoid it in whatever form it appears (1st John 5:21), as we seek to harness each day as a day of worshipping our soon-coming Lord Jesus, the Maker of Heaven and Earth (John 1:3). ><> JJSJ
Dr. James J. S. Johnson, as a boy, learned to recognize the surface evidence of moles’ shallow burrowing. Since his boyhood he has tried to appreciate the human life God gave him, and to recognize what God prioritizes – so as to avoid “making mountains out of molehills”.