“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 (KJV)
King Solomon uses a metaphor to exhort the believers. Throughout the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon speaks profusely about wisdom and begins this chapter with this same theme. In this verse, the King presents a basic principle: that foolishness creates problems for those who practice it. Solomon compares the good reputation to a good perfume. The dead fly does to the perfume what foolishness does to the reputation does to the wise people.
Wise here does not mean being wise in the human sense. It has nothing to do with intellectual knowledge or status. It has everything to do with hearing the Word of God and practicing it. Wise is he that feareth God, which obeyeth the voice of God. The Bible says that ” The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10, KJV).
And many may ask: “What is the wisdom that compels us to obey God without question Him?” To those the Bible replies, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.” (Psalm 20: 7, KJV) It is foolish not to follow God, the one who gave His own Son for, as the Apostle John wrote: “If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36, KJV).
This explains why some are wise, and others are foolish. It all depends on the disposition of the heart. So, let me ask you: where is your heart? Where have we placed our heart? The Bible says, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21, KJV) This can only means that we have our hearts in what we worship. But we will get there soon.
King Solomon uses an interesting comparison here. Tell us about a fly that falls in a perfume and spoils it. And this is similar to the mistakes we make and that call into question our name. This has legal and social implications. If we make a mistake, we will be held responsible. All our actions have consequences, whether they are good or bad.
But let’s think about this verse from the spiritual side. What principle is at the basis of this verse?
King Salomon tells about a Perfume, made with oil and aromas, and a fly that falls into it. The perfume is now ruined.
The same thing happens in our lives, is true of our lives, if we think about this oil as the anointing presence of God. Sin (the fly) ruins our relationship with God.
But let me ask you something: why did the fly fall on the perfume bottle? The answer is simple: because it was open. So it is with our lives: if we leave the lid open, Satan comes and ruins our perfume. We opened the gap, and we fell. Sin undoes many good things and it can completely destroy a lifetime.
What we receive from God, we must guard well. The presence of God must be something that we must preserve every day in our lives. We cannot open any gaps, which is getting more and more difficult these days. The temptation is everywhere, and has many names: addictions, excessive use of television or internet, pornography, lust, money, power, … (you can continue the list with other sins).
How can we preserve this presence of God? Living a life of worshiping Him. The Bible says in John 4:23, “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth, – for the Father seeks such love it. ”
So, what is worship? It is the ultimate expression of love. You know, God does not seek worship. He seeks worshipers. He does not care so much about what you
do, He cares about what you are and how you worship Him. If you are a good worshiper, your worship will be received by God. If you truly love Him above all things, He will receive your worship. And it does not matter if you cannot sing, play an instrument, or preach. Use only the gifts that God gave you! We all get a gift, at least. Use it! But use it for the glory of God as a way of expressing your love for Him. May everything you do be done for the glory of God.
We are Christians and Christians are radical. Christians are seriously radical. We have to be 100% committed to God – He won’t accept less than that.
Worship is a way of life. It is not about singing some songs on the Sunday service, pray every now and then, raise your arms, cry a little bit or feeling a shiver on the spine. It’s more than that: it’s a lifestyle. If we love something (or someone), our whole life revolves around it. If love money, your whole life will be made around working hard to make money, or managing schemes to make money; If you truly love your wife or husband, you can’t even imagine of betraying him/her: he/she is the only one in the world.
With God it is the same thing: we become what we worship. When we worship God, we taste a little of what He is, and that will change our life forever. From the moment you know Him, in which you worship Him (in spirit and in truth), and you do it continually, your life will change. So yes, worship is a way of life. And keep in mind: whatever you do will be to the glory of God: “Therefore whether ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31, KJV).
A worship lifestyle is the best lifestyle we can adopt: a life where we always seek the presence of God, where we seek the Holy Spirit, to guide us every day. Worship is something that brings us closer to God. It is exalting, glorifying God without thinking of us. There’s no “me” or “my problems, my needs” at that time. At that moment there is only God, nothing more. The presence of God is the best this world can give us. Funny how the best thing in the world it’s not of this world, huh?
The most opposed state to worship is the pride. Our ego collides with the Holy presence of God.
The greatest example that the Bible gives us about pride is that of Satan. It’s impossible to think about pride without thinking about Satan. Let’s see what the Bible says about him:
“Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weakens the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms.” (Isaiah 14:11- 16, KJV)
In these lines we can see the five wishes of Satan, or the five “I will” that he claims:
- I will ascend into heaven
- I will exalt my throne above the stars of God
- I will sit upon the mount of the congregation
- I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
- I will be like the most High.
You see, this is all about height. Satan wanted to be great, wanted to be exalted. What about us? Well… We want and seek attention from others, we want to see, we want to be seen when we do something good.
We should be like Jesus Christ: humble in heart. Jesus was God and He never had a single arrogant, superb word. He never judged himself above others; on the contrary, He always pointed to God: “For my Father is greater than I” (John 14:28, KJV); ” But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do”(John 14:31, KJV).
The curious thing about Satan is that he gives us two great hints of worship:
1) – Through the gifts he has given us.
Notice that the Book of Isaiah, in the chapter 14:11, states that he had viols (stringed instruments) within him. More, in the Book of Ezekiel, chapter 28:11-19, we learn that he also had drums and percussion instruments inside:
“Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
By the multitude of thy merchandise, they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.” (Ezekiel 28:11-19, KJV)
All the instruments that exist in the world, Lucifer played all the instruments in the world. He was responsible for praise, for the worship of God. No worship led to God without going through Satan first, and this was a problem to Satan. In Ezekiel 28:16, God tells us about a trade crime, committed by Satan, the pride crime that began his rebellion. Satan took the worship to God, in his own hands and we couldn’t resist of taking some for him. He thought he proudly deserved some for him. PRIDE: the sin that took Lucifer out of Paradise, the lust of wanting something that was not his, the attempt to resemble God. It all began when Lucifer said, “I want.”
Who are we to say to God “I want ?!”
2) How to worship God?
Satan also shows us how to do it, in Matthew 4:8-9: Satan takes Jesus to a very high mountain. (he sure loves to feel high, right?) and starts to tempt our Lord: ” Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt falls down and worship me.
And that’s how we worship God: falling down on our knees, in our ego (meaning, with a sincere heart, fulfilled with gratitude) and giving all the glory to Him. Satan knew this was the right way to do it because, at some point in his existence, he did it. He kneeled before God and praised Him.
Satan has made many prostrate before him, for material causes, for moments of enjoyment, in exchange for things that are not worthwhile. But there is only one worthy of worship: God. Only before God, we should bow down. Only His glory will make us fall at His feet. When we prostrate before God (physically or not) we declare that we are sinners, that we need Him, that we have nothing good to give Him to pay for what He has done for us, but that we acknowledge His greatness and glory.
Worship in spirit and in true involves a manifestation of love. It involves a physical expression of love. How can we worship in silence? It is impossible to stand in the presence of God and not manifest our worship. Even Satan knew this! He did not want Jesus to just say, “Yes, I adore you.” He wanted Jesus to express his adoration to him if he prostrated himself before him. And why did Satan want this? Because that’s how you worship in Heaven. This is what he saw the angels do in the presence of God.
As we worship God, as we contemplate His glory, we will be changed. Like Moses when he came down from the mountain, our face will shine, not because we are good and spiritual, but because the glory of God shines in us. And this is exactly what Satan does not want: you and me standing in the presence of God. He wants to divert our focus, and he will do anything to remove us from the presence of God.
He will do everything for the fly to fall into the bottle of perfume. It is up to you to store the bottle, to keep it tightly closed. Enough of living with the bottle uncovered, in the expectation that the fly will not fall; that we can live with our sins without God caring about it. Enough of living a life without sanctification, where we can have a little bit of everything: a little of us, letting a tiny place of our heart to God to fill. Enough of living in our pride in which we manage our lives and do not submit to the will of God.
The Bible is very clear about this: “So, because you are lukewarm, and not cold or hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:16, KJV). Either you are cold, or you are hot, but you cannot be warm. The problem of being lukewarm is that we say one thing and do another: we give bad testimony and disgrace the name of God.
Come to live a life of worship. May everything you do be to the glory of God.