“Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
Social insects seldom, if ever, tolerate other species within their communities. Strangers are generally identified by their smell, rather than by their appearance, since those insects that aren’t actually blind have very poor eyesight. It is common for social insects to unite to destroy even one stranger who invades their nest.
Like most social insects, termites don’t tolerate strangers. However, the Trichopsenius frosti beetle likes to make its living within the nest of just one species of termite. These termites produce a very specific mixture of 21 compounds that are mixed into a unique scent by which they identify nest mates. The unique scent includes a compound that is a third of the total mix while other compounds are included as less than one percent of the mix. As unlikely as it sounds, the Trichopsenius is able to make the same mix of compounds so perfectly that its presence in the termite nest goes unquestioned.
Those who trust Christ for their salvation are strangers in this world. But unlike the Trichopsenius beetle, because we are strangers here, we should not strive to be like those among whom we are strangers. Like Abraham, those who trust in Christ have been given God’s promise that He will lead them through this wilderness to a new and perfect land that will last forever. Abraham could not guess how God would make his descendants a great nation and give them a beautiful land. Nevertheless, he trusted God’s promise, and we can, too! Author: Paul A. Bartz
Dear Lord, teach me how to be like You and live as Your child. Amen.
Ref: Bombardier Beetles and Fever Trees, p. 46. Photo: Eastern subterranean termite soldiers termite.