Scripture: Ecclesiastes 10:1, ‘As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.’
Observations: It’s a great illustration, the smell of dead flies is stronger than perfume, and so one stupid act can destroy someone’s life. In a way that captures the issue of sin in our lives. We like to think of ourselves as good people, but the Bible says that if break just one commandment we become a lawbreaker as if we had broken them all. It doesn’t matter if we are 99% good, that 1% bad is enough to condemn us. I once heard someone ask if we would eat a muffin if it had only a tiny piece of cat poo in it. In the same way God won’t accept us with any amount of sin. The truth is that all fall short of God’s glory, none of us smell that good, we are all fools in one way or another. Only Jesus lived a perfect life and was without sin. And the Bible says that when we put our faith in Jesus he takes away our sin and death, and gives us his perfect righteousness. Only in Christ are our lives a pleasing aroma to God. Only in Christ is our folly replaced with wisdom and honour.
Application: It only takes one stupid act to ruin everything, that’s basically the story of Adam and Eve. But the Bible says it only took one right act to make everything better, and that action was Jesus’ death on the cross (Rom 5:12-21). Put your faith in Jesus, because only Jesus can remove the smell of death, only Jesus can deal with your stupidity, only Jesus can deal with your sin. Only in Jesus can our lives become a pleasing aroma before God.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, the truth is that I am not perfect, amongst all the wisdom there is so much folly, amongst everything that smells good there is so much that smells bad. But Lord, I thank You for Jesus Christ whose righteousness covers my unrighteousness, whose sacrifice on the cross makes me acceptable in your sight. Lord, may You fill me with Your Holy Spirit that my life might be a pleasing aroma to You, that I might bring You honour and glory. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.