There are some diseases and illnesses that will attack the outside of the tree and produce changes in the canopy and trunk. There are also diseases that attack plants and animals from the inside, we called these systemic infections. These infections are caused by microbes that are spread throughout the body by the host plant or animal by its own anatomy. Some of these diseases can be easily spotted and treated. Others require a much more involved process to determineand treat. Some diseases are not treatable, they are fatal.
In our examination process we are applying a biblical principle from Jeremiah 17. In Jeremiah 17 God says that our roots determine our fruit. In verse five and six God talks about the man who only has trust in himself, this man is likened to a shrub planted in the desert. This shrub has little root and is abused by the heat of the day. The only fruit that this shrub produces thorns. In contrast to the bush is the tree that is planted by water (verses 7 & 8), a source of life outside of itself. When the heat comes and it always does, this tree continues to hold its leaves and produce good fruit. This tree is likened to the men who trust God. When the heat comes, and it always will, this person continues to produce good fruit in his life. Verse nine talks about our heart being deceitful even to the point of deceiving ourselves. The idea is that we are 'tripped up from the inside'(a systemic disease). The Bible also says that we are desperately sick, the idea here is that we are incurable. Can man fix himself? The Bible says no, only God can cure man.
What is the source of truth in your life? The answer is reflected in the fruit of your life. The answer is easier to know when we might think! Do I submit myself to a source of truth outside of myself or am I the ultimate judge of what is right and wrong? For those who claim to know Jesus Christ as their savior I would also ask How do you respond to heat in your life? Do you produce fruit or thorns in your life? Do your family and friends want to be around you during the heat? Are you a source of nourishment for them? As Christians do we produce the fruit that this world needs to see?
Jer 17:5 This is what the Lord has said: Cursed is the man who puts his faith in man, and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart is turned away from the Lord.
Jer 17:6 For he will be like the brush in the desert, and will not see any good come; but his living-place will be in the dry places in the waste land, in a salt and unpeopled land.
Jer 17:7 A blessing is on the man who puts his faith in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.
Jer 17:8 For he will be like a tree planted by the waters, pushing out its roots by the stream; he will have no fear when the heat comes, but his leaf will be green; in a dry year he is not anxious, and will go on giving fruit.
Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is desperately sick: who can know it?