Articles by - Mike Muzzerall

Blessed Is The Man

August 2022
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” —JOHN 15:1-2

WE SEE A CLEAR contrast between nonbearing branches and fruit bearing branches. Jeremiah also compares the man trusting in his fellow man with the one who is trusting in the Lord. Jeremiah concludes, “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is” (Jer. 17:7).

Man Trusting In Man
The one who trusts in man and departs from the Lord is cursed. He once knew the Lord but has allowed his heart to become cold and hardened. The prophet then uses an agricultural object lesson to demonstrate the desperate condition of the one who leaves God to trust in man.

The Arara Bush
He shall be like a “heath” in the desert (Jer. 17:6). The word heath in the Hebrew is arara, and it means “a bush or tree.” The arara bush may well be what Jeremiah had in mind. Its roots go down one hundred and fifty feet deep and can grow anywhere. It produces a beautiful looking fruit.

When Squeezed
The fruit is very light to hold. When squeezed, it produces a puff of air. What is on the inside comes out. Christians are often squeezed. For those who are truly abiding in Christ, righteousness comes out in the midst of the trial. That is not, of course, the same for those who trust in man. Just as the puff of air that the arara fruit produces does nothing that can benefit a thirsty traveler in the desert, nothing of value comes out of Christians when they are not abiding in Christ.

Deadly Fruit
The thirsty traveler would be tempted to partake of the milky sap of the arara fruit. If so, he would soon find out that he has ingested poison. The Bedouins dip their arrows and spears in this poisonous sap. The man who trusts in the arm of flesh can never quench the thirst of the thirsty. Instead, his wisdom produces death. Hot air and poison are all that man can produce. No matter how it is presented, there is no life in man’s wisdom or guidance.

Good Fruit
“Blessed is the man that trusts in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her root by the river, and shall not see when the heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit” (Jer. 17:7-8).

Trusting in man produces nothing but hot air and poison. Trusting in the Lord by contrast yields good fruit. There are times when plants produce unacceptable fruit that cannot be consumed. Jeremiah’s usage of the word yielding enforces that those who place their faith in the Lord will produce good fruit.

Abiding In The Vine
Christians can only produce fruit if they continually abide in Christ the Vine. Why would anyone want to leave Him and trust in the flesh or man’s words of wisdom? Unless our righteousness comes from Jesus Christ and Him crucified, we are arara bushes producing fruit that is unacceptable to God. Our fruit is deadly to all who we share it with. By continuing to abide in Christ and always keeping our eyes on the completed work of Calvary, we learn that Jeremiah was correct when he said, “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is” (Jer. 17:7).


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