Friday, November 07, 2014

Jewel # 194 (Nov. 7, 2014)

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“They shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make
up MY JEWELS.”
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren,

How an Enemy of Trees is Stopped

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
(Ephesians 6:11)

As beautiful, tall and strong as a tree may appear, it has enemies quite capable of killing it. Some of these enemies are very small insects. One persistent little enemy is the bark beetle. It is one of the worst pests of spruce and pine trees in North America.

Usually these beetles come in swarms, boring through cracks in the bark and eventually boring their way into the sapwood. In a healthy tree, these beetles often become submerged in the resin that oozes our of the hole and then they die. But in weakened and drought-affected trees, there is not enough resin to trap them.

Once the beetles reach the vital sapwood, they lay their eggs in their bored tunnels. When the eggs hatch, the larvae continue to feed in the tree.

If there were no way to stop these persistent little insects, there would eventually be no pine or spruce trees left. God has provided protection for these trees by using another insect known as the checkered beetle which can catch the bark beetles in flight and eat them. Not only do checkered beetles kill the bark beetles, but they also go into the tunnels the bark beetles have already made. The checkered beetles lay their eggs alongside those of the bark beetles, and when the larvae hatch, they attack and kill the newly hatched bark beetle larvae.

God has also given another friend to the trees - the braconid wasp. In some unknown way, it locates the bark beetle larvae, even though they might be under an inch of bark. This wasp injects its own eggs into the larvae of the bark beetle. The eggs soon hatch, and these larvae immediately feed on their hosts, which kill the bark beetle larvae.

Recently, an enemy of ash trees has been killing many, many of these large hardwood trees. It is a small bright-green beetle called the emerald ash borer. These can kill an ash tree in just two years. Presently no natural enemy is known.

The killer beetles remind us of the enemy Satan, who “as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). His attacks are often in some small manner that we may even be aware of, but we say, “That doesn’t amount to much; I‘m not concerned about it.” But what prayerful care we need so that Satan does not get the edge on us.

The only way we can apply the armour of Ephesians 6:11 or withstand Satan’s attacks is by turning to the Lord Jesus in every testing. “Finally . . . be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10). With Him taking our place before our enemy, we can say, “Thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Love you all,
Grandpa

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