‘Water off a Duck’s Back’

Biblical parables of wildlife and nature. ‘Water off a Duck’s Back’

A lovely Biblical comparison to ‘WATER OFF A DUCKS BACK’

Water, Oil and Air (breath)

Have you ever heard the saying ‘Water off a duck’s back’? My mother would quite often quote these words when I’d tell her that someone had been saying nasty things about me. She would give me a hug and say, “My dear, let those nasty words be like ‘water off a duck’s back.’

We can see a lovely biblical comparison in these few words ‘water off a duck’s back,’ it means beloved, don’t let any negative words spoken about you stay on-board, just let them roll off, forgive and move on.

I’ve studied and painted ducks throughout my art career, I love to watch them resurface after foraging underneath the water. Once back on the surface the many droplets of water would bounce like little balls across their backs only to fall back into the water again.

To keep healthy, ducks need to preen themselves regularly, this is because the very water they are designed to live in becomes a death trap to them if they don’t. To protect the ducks from their wet environment God has designed a special oil gland called the uropygial gland which is situated beneath their tail. This special oil gland is what the duck waterproofs itself with.

We also have been designed to live in an environment that can become a death trap to us too, we’re not aquatic creatures like ducks are, but what’s interesting is that both the duck and us need oil to protect our lives. I’m not speaking about a type of oil that protects our skin, or fish oil to make our hearts healthier, I’m speaking about the supernatural oil of the Holy Spirit.

We mankind are flesh, we don’t have feathers like ducks do and we’d look a bit silly if we did; the bible tells us that we have been created from out of the dust of the ground. (Genesis 2:7) the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being, and it is our flesh that returns back to the dust when we die.

In Genesis 2:7 above, we read that God breathed into man. It is common knowledge that there are three parts to man, there is our body (flesh), our soul and our spirit; a trinity of parts we are! We are in essence spirit man, and the bible tells us that God is spirit too, Jesus said, ‘God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth.’ (John 4:24)

Genesis 1: 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Because we have been created in the likeness of God, we need to keep the spiritual parts to our body eternally healthy. In the natural our physical bodies need a well-balanced diet to keep them from getting sick, and it is the same for our spirit and soul, except there isn’t any type of nature’s food or water upon this earth that can keep them healthy, for they don’t require natural foods like our bodies do, they require a pure Spiritual food and the only source of that food is God’s Word. Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35)

Jesus came down to earth to die upon the cross to purchase our lives, our trinity of being and without God, God’s Son (Jesus the water and bread of life) and the Holy Spirit (oil) the trinity of heaven, the earth becomes a death trap to us, not in the physical sense for we all die and return to the dust, but in the spiritual truth of eternal life.

In addition to a ducks waterproofing abilities, duck feathers possess another quality to help them stay afloat, they trap air. When a duck dives under the water, the water is driven away from the ducks body by little tiny air bubbles. This is because God created their feathers to be a system of barbs that interlock together, and when they dive underneath the water they squeeze out the air by pressing in their feathers. The air acts as a barrier and protection helping the duck achieve its purposes.

We can see another biblical comparison here, for it is only when a duck is fully immersed under the water that it begins the process of releasing air. We also need to be fully immersed and baptised in the Holy Spirit to receive His (air, breath) so we can be equipped for ministry. (Acts 2: 2). Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.

(John 20:21-22). Jesus said, ‘As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ And he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’

There are many different species of wildlife mentioned throughout the Bible. Jesus used an example of a fox when revealing the nature of Herod, obviously Herod was a cunning individual who was sly, opportunistic and very destructive. (Luke 13: 32) “Go tell that fox, ‘I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow and on the third day I will reach my goal.’

Song of Songs also reveals the fox, (something that looks harmless and cute, as being destructive). Song of Songs 2:14-15. My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding-places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.

Foxes will generally wait until they are undetected before entering a fruitful vineyard, or as the above verse reveals, our intimate relationship with God. (A fruitful vineyard is symbolic of the Church). Foxes are known to burrow underneath a vineyards vine, it then begins to gnaw the roots until the plants system of life is finally destroyed.

God bless and have a wonderful Festive Season.