Dead flies cause the ointment of the perfumer to putrefy [and] send forth a vile odor; so does a little folly [in him who is valued for wisdom] outweigh wisdom and honor. -Ecclesiastes 10:1 AMP
Solomon in all his wisdom and honor learned something very valuable through the few mistakes he did make. He found that he could have limitless wisdom and limitless honor and have it all be undone by one small thing. Can you image buying your favorite perfume/cologne only to find out that there is a decaying dead fly floating in the midst of it? That small tiny little item of death will turn the whole perfume foul and you would be quick to return it. This is something the Lord is teaching me or maybe re-teaching me right now. I am going through a time in my life where the book of Ecclesiastes has become so valuable and important to me. It is all about how life spent “under the sun” turns out to be completely meaningless and vain. If you were to live your life simply “under the sun” and for the values and goals that this earth has to offer you would find it all meaningless and worthless pursuits of vanity; a ceaseless attempt to chase after and catch the wind– only to have it vanish from your hands as you clasp at it. The world is constantly putting unreachable goals and expectations in front of us, and even if you do reach them you will find yourself surprisingly unsatisfied. Solomon in all his wisdom had this fly rotting in the perfume; he used his wisdom to attain wealth, honor, prestige, and everything else that his eyes desired– yet found his soul rotting and left wanting.
The conclusion of the book? Fear God (revere, respect and worship Him) and keep His commandments for that is the purpose of man. That is why we were created and that is the only thing that will give us a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in this life “under the sun”. Don’t let those little seemingly unimportant areas of your life go unattended. You may be following the path of righteousness and yet have that one small little fly that always seems to come in unnoticed– if you leave it there too long it will putrefy your witness. The Lord has called us to be a sweet smelling odor to Himself and a light unto the world. Sometimes It seems like those flies just won’t go away, trust me I know firsthand, but we must be ever diligent in pouring our hearts out to the Lord and letting Him clean us continually so that way we can constantly be a clean vessel for Him ready to be used (you might be surprised to find out that in His grace He will still use us anyways– but that doesn’t mean we should take advantage of that). Fearing the Lord will bring with it a lot of wisdom and honor, but just a little bit of folly can outweigh, or even negate, all of that honor and all of the wisdom for which you were once so respected for. I should clarify that you will never lose your salvation and your justification in the sight of the Lord, but it is possible to lose your honor as well as the weight of your words of wisdom. You may know exactly what to do, but if you have a rotting fly in your life no one will listen to what you are advising them to do.
God help us to be free of our momentary lapses of wisdom and not allow any “flies” to putrefy within our soul.