That Strange Bird, the Hornbill: Part 1

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 8
There are about 44 varieties of hornbills living in the jungles of Africa and Asia. This strange, colorful bird is the size of a goose with a large yellow or red saw-toothed, curved bill. On top of this bill is a reddish bony headpiece which looks like a helmet. Each variety of hornbill has its own special headpiece lying flat on top of the bill. One species, the rhino hornbill, has a growth pointing forward like the horn on a rhinoceros.
These unusual bills and headpieces result in the death of many hornbills since people kill them for these bony pieces. Many kinds of knickknacks are carved from them, including handles for knives and daggers, buckles and even small idols and tourist souvenirs. We cannot say that the hornbills are proud of their attractive bills, but we are reminded that the Bible says, "Woe to the crown of pride...whose glorious beauty is a fading flower....The Lord of hosts [shall] be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty" (Isa. 28:1,51Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine! (Isaiah 28:1)
5In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people, (Isaiah 28:5)
). Pride and the beauty of everything on earth will fade and pass away, but the Lord and His Word will endure forever.
Hornbills have black and white feathers on their backs and orange feathers on their breasts, throats and heads. To support their heavy bodies they have strong legs with tough, claw-like toes on their feet for gripping the branches of trees.
These birds have loud calls that carry long distances through the jungles. The calls sound like a combination of a racing car, a human scream and crazy laughter. Their wings also produce loud booms as they fly slowly through the trees. Orangutans and other apes are attracted by these noises and will swing through the trees, following the birds. They seem to know that the hornbills like wild fruits and berries to eat, and they do too.
Strange as the hornbill may seem to us, it is part of God's creation, and He carefully watches over every one of them. We are told, "All things were created by Him, and for Him: and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist [continue to exist]" (Col. 1:16-1716For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (Colossians 1:16‑17)). Each person is also part of His creation, but, sad to say, all have sinned (disobeyed God), and God cannot accept us in our sins. We must each first come to the Lord Jesus to be cleansed from our sins. Then we are told, "If any man be in Christ [saved by faith in Him], he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Cor. 5:1717Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)). Have you come to the Lord Jesus for cleansing from your sins?