Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour. ~Ecclesiastes 10:1
Flies! I do not like flies. They have to be among the most annoying of pests. Living flies are bad. Dead flies are just as bad. Back in Solomon’s day, a container of special ointment was very precious. Sometimes people would leave the containers open to allow the sweet-smelling aroma to fill the air in their homes. However, flies would eventually make their way to an open container. These flies would settle within the ointment, become entrapped, and eventually die. If the ointment with the dead flies was left unattended, the sweet-smelling odor would change into a terrible stench because of the decay of the dead flies within it. Solomon uses this image as a powerful lesson on how carelessness results in a life and reputation that is a stench to others.
Be careful of foolish decisions.
Solomon said that a little folly hurts the reputation of someone known for wisdom and honor. In the food services industry, it is critically important that all safeguards are followed to prevent food from being contaminated and causing food poisoning to the consumer. If hands are not washed, food is left out at room temperature too long, or some contaminant gets into the food, a chain reaction of illnesses can occur. The company’s reputation is badly marred, and consumers will avoid purchasing the product until they know that it is safe. This bad situation will “send forth a stinking savour” to the company’s name. We must be vigilant and careful that we do not make foolish decisions about who we associate with, where we go, and what we participate in that can be a stumbling block to other people.
Be careful of false doctrines.
False doctrine is a belief that contradicts what the Bible teaches. False doctrine becomes a dead fly in the ointment when we allow someone who has an unbiblical belief to have influence on us. Propagators of false doctrine are spiritual wolves looking to make disciples of anyone who will give them an audience to expound their wrong teaching. They are called seducers, clouds without rain, and trees plucked up by the roots. The Bible stands as the sole authority for faith and practice. Do not give an ear to false doctrine. Avoid having itching ears that hear out false teachers. Once you let it influence your faith, it sends forth a stinking savor and marks you as someone who is given to error.
Be careful of failed discipleship.
Peter was well-known as a key disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. He presumptuously thought that he was strong enough to stand for the Lord under any circumstance. In the evening in which he denied our Lord, he let a few dead flies to settle in his ointment. The first was when he fell asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane when he should have been praying. The second was thinking that, by using his sword, he could show the Jews he was not a pushover. The third was when he warmed himself by a fire outside the place where Jesus was being tried by the elders of the Jews. By warming himself at this fire, he tried to make himself look like he was “one of them.” Subsequently, Peter vehemently denied his association with our Lord. When the cock crowed the third time, Peter looked up and saw our Lord’s face looking at him. Peter went and wept bitterly that he had failed at the critical hour.
Your life is like precious ointment that is a sweet smell to others when we do right. Guard the door of your life, and do not let the flies to come in and ruin it.
Have a vigilant God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 2 Kings 12-14