1 ¶ 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.
In the words of Jamieson Fausset Brown, “the more delicate the perfume, the more easily spoiled is the ointment. Common oil is not so liable to injury”. This simply implies that the higher you go in spiritual and ministerial ladder, the more delicate your position becomes.
In a physical sense, the higher you climb, the more vulnerable you become. Therefore, those who aspire to climb spiritual ladder must be conscious of their vulnerability (1Cor 10:12).
The Perfumer’s ointment is not common oil; it is a specially formulated oil for the service of God. it is the holy anointing oil.
25 “And you shall make from these a holy anointing oil, an ointment compounded according to the art of the perfumer. It shall be a holy anointing oil.
26 “With it you shall anoint the tabernacle of meeting and the ark of the Testimony;
27 “the table and all its utensils, the lampstand and its utensils, and the altar of incense;
28 “the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the laver and its base.
29 “You shall consecrate them, that they may be most holy; whatever touches them must be holy.
30 “And you shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister to Me as priests.
As the perfumer’s ointment is special and stands in its own class, everyone called to minister in the court of God is special and set apart from among the people.
1 ¶ I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
For those of us who serve God, the most important and most reasonable part of our services is our consecration. Our lives are the holy oil specially set apart and heavily fragranced by the power of the Spirit of God to give a sweet odor to God and also to introduce God to the people around us.
14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.
15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.
16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?
The life of every true child of God is like the perfumer’s ointment; it continually gives out sweet aroma to God and draw people to God. The higher such child of God goes in the spiritual ladder, the more delicate that ointment becomes and the more vulnerable it is for pollution.
The word translated dead flies in Ecc 10:1 should actually be translated “flies of death”. The word “Beelzebub” means prince of flies and it is called prince of demons. So that fly of death that makes your ointment to give foul odor is that little demon of sin in you.
What destroy servants of God are usually small matters; they are not big butterflies, or giant grasshoppers. They are small flies of death. These are the things referred to as “sin which so easily ensnares us”.
1 ¶ Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
There is a fly of death in every minister of God secretly growing which the devil is planning to use to destroy the sweet smelling ointment of our lives.
Examples of things that destroy great ministries and ministers include:
- Sexual scandals
Men do not fall into sexual scandals suddenly; the small fly of lust was never conquered in them. It is that fly of lust that grows to become the fly of death which eventually destroys their lives and ministries.
This was the trouble with Samson. Read Judges 16:1-21
- Samson did not graduate into visiting Philistine harlot in a day; he grew into it
- Samson was a man who could not differentiate between love and lust
- The anointing on the head of Samson could kill thousands of Philistine soldiers without any weapon or assistance, but it could not kill the fly of death developing in him.
- It was not Delilah that captures Samson; she was too small for that. It was lust that captured Samson and handed him over to Delilah who in turn handed him over to the lords of the Philistines.
- Identify that fly of death that has captured you before it hands you over to total destruction.
Some of the things those who serve God must kill in them include:
- Immoral and lustful second look
- Love for pornographic materials which abide everywhere in today’s world
- Immoral thoughts
Once a man harbors this flies of death in him, the first things that will happen is serious erosion in his relationship with his spouse. As this becomes more serious, the flies of death will be moving closer to his sweet ointment.
The greatest harm a man will do to himself is to pretend and live in hypocrisy.
- Money scandals
Money is a big destroyer in ministry. Today’s ministry is seriously mammon-centered. Many people who were aggressive evangelists and erudite teachers of the word are now strong disciples of mammon.
For a man to fall into the trap of mammon, the process is also gradual.
- Discontent with gradual life growth
- Unhealthy comparison
- Wrong associations
Read 1Tim 6:6-12
- Position scandals
Those who value position more than their ministries will soon lose both the position and the ministry.
The only person that had a position or special office among the twelve Apostles was Judas Iscariot. His destruction was related to that position.
Those who are position seekers will always value the politics of the church more than the development of their personal faithfulness to God in the areas of their calls.
Do not seek position; seek opportunities to serve God.
Watch out in your life for:
- Pride which makes you feel that you are qualified for certain church positions
- Love for human recognition, applause and rewards
- Competitive spirit and unhealthy jealousy
- Seeking for ministry gratification rather than selfless labor
- Greed which makes you always complaining about unfair treatment and secretly divert some ministry money into personal use
Once of the best favor we could ever do to ourselves today is to be sincere enough to acknowledge the developing fly of death in us.
We must pray individually and collectively until that fly of death dies in us.
If you need to open up and confess some things so that you will be totally free, please do not fail to do so.
Do not continue to struggle to defend your ministry when you are aware that your personal life is sinking.