Flies in the Ointment
“Dead flies putrefy the perfumer’s ointment, And cause it to give off a foul odor; So does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor.” Ecclesiastes 10:1
The perfumer’s ointment, or oil, was an expensive, fragrant perfume. It was precious, hand crafted, and considered quite a luxury. We’re probably most familiar with this ointment in scripture from the story of the alabaster box, when a woman broke open her precious oil and poured all of it on the feet of Jesus. It was the cost of a year’s wages, likely the most valuable possession she owned. Here Ecclesiastes says this precious ointment can be ruined by flies—and then likens the flies to sin. Just a little folly can ruin a reputation. What takes time to build, can be stripped in a moment. Perhaps this is why Satan is called the lord of the flies, Beelzebub. Like flies in our homes, if we are not careful to protect against sin entering our lives, it will multiply and leave a repulsive stench.
Not only is sin like flies, sin is like a particular member of the fly family, the mosquito. Love covers, but mosquitos spread... They spread sickness and disease, and they do it all through the blood. The mosquito kills 1,000,000 people a year. It kills more than lions, more than grizzly bears, more than poisonous snakes. It’s deadly. The mosquito comes in, almost always undetected, and lifts the blood from you. It leaves a blemish on the outside, but it’s what happens inside - unseen - that can be so deadly. Sin comes for the blood, too. The blood of Jesus. The blood that protects you, that cleanses you, that makes your life a fragrant aroma to the Lord. If we are not careful, sin will sneak in just like the flies, like the mosquitos, and begin to slowly lift the blood.
The good news is, God gave us a gift that keeps sin away! Like mosquitoes are attracted to still water, stagnant Christians are a breeding ground for sin. But where the Spirit flows freely, just like fresh water, sin cannot grow! God gave us the Holy Spirit, a river of living water, and mosquitos are not attracted to moving water! If you are ready to get sin out of your life, if you are ready to receive healing and blessing from above, then trouble the waters! When the water is moving, those mosquitos won’t stay around. And when you allow the river of living water, the Holy Spirit, to move in your life, sin won’t win.
Even if you’ve made mistakes, if you’re in the middle of battle you feel you just can’t win, the truth about that verse, Ecclesiastes 10:1, is that the flies were dead. Yes, sin comes to destroy. It leaves a trail of disaster and, like the flies in the ointment, a stench. BUT, that precious oil—the anointing of God, the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life—will defeat sin. Flies can’t survive in oil, mosquitoes are not attracted to moving water, and sin cannot prevail in YOU if you are in Christ Jesus!