October 13, 2015
A pleasant view of the Junction and Breakwater trail between Rehoboth Beach and Lewes Delaware.
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“Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good. Dead flies make a perfumer’s oil stink, so a little foolishness is weightier than wisdom and honor” (Ecclesiastes 9:18-10:1).
Today I want to share an illustration I heard from Bob, who was our pastor at the time. I had a similar experience returning from Delaware late Sunday afternoon so it is especially poignant! Furthermore I am pretty sure that more than a few of our readers will be able to identify, especially as we approach the “golden years”.
Bob was headed home with his family from a vacation and along the way he stopped for a cup of coffee. As they got on the interstate they ran into several major traffic jams. The longer they sat in idle traffic the more pressing the need was to find a bathroom.
After passing several exits with no bathroom facilities he spotted a row of porta-potties off to the side of the interstate. (A porta-pottie is a mobile toilet unit often used during construction projects and for special outdoor functions.)
Now a porta-pottie was sure not his first choice but “when you gotta go, you gotta go” so he pulled the car over and made a beeline for them. He went in the first one and as he opened the door he was blasted back by the strong, foul odor. As we would say in Missouri the smell was bad enough to “gag a maggot.”
He stated that he “galvanized” himself to go in and take care of business and wasted no time in running back to his car. As soon as he got in his grown daughter looked at him and said, “Ooh, Dad, you smell awful!” It seems the strong smell in the porta-pottie lingered in his clothing and it did so all the way home. Upon their arrival home the clothes were immediately dropped in the laundry!
Scientifically the detection threshold, that is, the concentration of a substance needed for an individual to detect a scent or odor, is extremely low. Often it’s measured in the parts per billion (ppb) or even parts per trillion (ppt) range. Just consider driving by a dead skunk! Or on a more pleasant note the periodic wafts of chocolate we get, depending on wind direction, from a chocolate factory two miles from our house located at 200 Chocolate Avenue! Makes you think of Hershey which is 16 miles from our house, but in fact we get a much more concentrated whiff of chocolate here in Mount Joy than one does in Hershey.
In sharing the rather personal story our pastor was making a point concerning the malodorous effects of sin. Just a little bit of sin can have devastating effects. A little exposure can make a huge difference. Of course sin in any degree separates.
Our rather obscure daily text is an example of why context is so important. We often tend to read the Bible breaking at chapter divisions although this may actually interrupt the writer’s original thought. Upon studying today’s passage we feel the last verse of Ecclesiastes 9 and first verse from chapter 10 should be understood together. That’s why we place them together. “One sinner destroys much good. Dead flies make a perfumer’s oil stink.”
1) “One sinner destroys much good.” That is pretty self-evident with abundant illustrations all around us. Consider the recent shooting in Oregon. Consider the devastation a drunk driver can make on many. A pilfering employee can bring ruin to an entire company. And just consider what damage one politician can do! It also true if worded this way, “One sin destroys much good.” Consider the impact of just a single instance marital unfaithfulness.
2) “Dead flies make a perfumer’s oil stink.” Now actually dead flies are not something that would immediately come to mind as malodorous. Living out in the country we deal with flies during the summer and Brooksyne is a master swatter of flies. The writer of Ecclesiastes is pointing out that it takes just a small amount of foul to ruin a pleasant odor. Just being in that porta-pottie for a few minutes infiltrated the pastor’s clothing and just a little sin can infiltrate our lives as well.
What a blessing forgiveness is! “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, You’ve called us to live holy lives set apart for Your intended purpose. By doing so we can more clearly distinguish light from darkness and will keep the forces of evil distant, not allowing them to overtake our heart’s affections. We pray not only for ourselves, but also for our loved ones who are presently in bondage to sin. They do not live apart from the mindset of the world but rather seek the world’s approval, seeing Your commands as out-of-date, no longer pertinent, or as some like to say, on “the wrong side of history”. Your timeless ancient book, with its precepts, commands and promises is our roadmap as we make our pilgrimage here below. May we not be distracted or stray by partaking of that which will woo us into a life of sin. In Christ Jesus we pray. Amen.
Here’s another thought concerning today’s message: “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’ Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame” (I Corinthians 15:33,34). In this text Paul is warning his readers concerning deception, “Do not be misled.” At the core of deception is being misled. ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’
For many years we have shared how simple framed, printed Scriptures by a Canadian named Walter Kember have touched people’s lives. Periodically we get an email from someone who has come across this page and here’s the most recent comment:
Hi my name is Jackie and had many of these precious plaques in my home as a new believer raising my children!! My church, Berean Baptist, in Hixson, TN used to hand them out to all who wanted them, I just love them. Then after over twenty years of not seeing them I came across two of them in a little resale shop trying to sell them for $2 apiece. As I went on to tell her the story of them and how they were given out free of charge all over TN & GA, she said her grandmother gave it to her so she put it in the store and I was the only person that asked about. Then she said I could have them @ $2 each. Then she read the back [which says they are to be distributed free of charge] and then she said she couldn’t charge and that I could just have them. I praised God for the most wonderful gift that day and repeated the story to the friend with me!!!!! I Praise GOD for Walter and will see him in heaven when I get home.
Excited in His service,
Here’s another portion of the Junction and Breakwater trail near Rehoboth Beach DE. We thought the corn field and rail fence looked so neat and orderly as we rode on this trail. We sure enjoyed riding our bikes together, each riding about 100 miles, mostly in the Rehoboth Beach and Lewes area. However I also made a long solo ride through Dewey Beach to the south and down along Rt 1. Many of our readers are familiar with this very popular area.
Taking a break while riding on the Gordon Pond trail. We all took a long ride till dusk after arriving in Rehoboth Beach on Thursday afternoon. Allowing for plenty of breaks Ester biked the entire 16 mile trail.
“If We Confess Our Sins (1 John 1:8-9)” Video Scripture Memory Songs
“Whiter Than The Snow” Video
“Glorious Freedom” Video Homecoming Singers with Larry Ford, who has such a powerful voice and earnestness.
Disgusting! I notice that evil Planned Parenthood is running ads on YouTube which just may proceed a song suggested!!! We, of course, have nothing to do with the placement of these ads.
Click here for an example of a malodorous porta-pottie odor.
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