Deuteronomy 14:12, 18
“But these are they of which ye shall not eat: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray … And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.”
Don’t mess with the hoopoe – especially the female! Their Creator blessed this bird with an oil gland that produces a really foul-smelling liquid. When rubbed into their plumage, it smells like rotting meat and deters not only predators but parasites as well. In fact, it also acts as an antibacterial agent.
Thanks to this nasty-smelling liquid, most predators stay far away from the hoopoe’s nest. But even when a predator ignores the stench and comes looking for a meal while mama hoopoe is away, the nestlings are not defenseless. Even when they are just six days old, they can produce the same liquid and shoot it accurately into the face of predators.
With such an awful smell, perhaps it was a great blessing that God placed the hoopoe on His list of animals that were not to be eaten by His people. By the way, the King James version of the Bible refers to the hoopoe as the lapwing but we’re still talking about the hoopoe. Since this bird is listed in Deuteronomy as an unclean animal, isn’t it rather odd that the modern state of Israel would choose the hoopoe as their national bird?
Like the hoopoe, every person ever born – with the exception of Jesus – is unclean in God’s sight. This is why Jesus Christ, the sinless lamb of God, submitted Himself to die on the cross as our substitute. He will make you clean in God’s sight when you repent and put your trust in Him!
Heavenly Father, I know that there’s nothing I can do to make myself clean and righteous. Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross to make me acceptable in Your sight. Amen.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoopoe. Photo: Courtesy of Arturo Nikolai. (CC-BY-SA 2.0 GENERIC)