Plant Self Defense
The thorny acacia tree is not the usual food of the Kudu antelope. But because of overcrowding on game farms, the antelope began eating the leaves of this tree. Eventually, the kudu starved to death, even though there were plenty of acacia leaves to eat. Scientists learned that when antelope feed on the acacia, the tree begins to produce a chemical called tannin k. The tannin combines with other chemicals to give the leaves a bad taste. But worse for the antelope, the tannin impairs their ability to digest food, and eventually they starve to death. Scientists found that while tannin is not normally found in high concentrations in acacia leaves, within 15 minutes of leaf damage, the tannin levels in the leaves nearly double. They also found that the trees warn other trees about browsing animals in the area. When a leaf is chewed, it releases a scent that causes neighboring acacia trees to begin to produce tannin!
There is a spiritual lesson in this: In those places of the world where Bibles are easily available, Bible reading is decreasing. It is primarily where Bibles are hard to get that people appreciate the power of God’s Word. God has provided us with plenty of food for our souls. Let’s not overfeed on the world’s food and starve the soul by neglecting God’s Word.