Sweet Savour

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.  (Ecc 10:1)

What if I walked into a bakery and was met with the smell of a pig pen?  What if Bath and Body Works reeked of dirty laundry?  These two places have a reputation, therefore, it would be beyond disappointing if aroma of the place was less than desirable.  It would be offensive.  I have been near a pig pen and have endured it; however, if I stepped into a bakery shop that smell like that, I would step right back out.
Christians, people expect certain things of us.  The life we live give us a reputation.  How do we keep from spoiling that expectation of a sweet savour? (side note: the archaic definition of savour is similar to repute.)
I tried to look up verses about a sweet savour, and I found that the phrase is in the Old Testament a lot, and it is always in reference to a sacrifice.  Incense was also used in worship to God in the Old Testament.  I believe the analogy of these is the key to having a sweet savour.
The answer is to have a close personal relationship with God.  When we nurture a relationship with God through willing sacrifice (sweet savour) and prayerful communication (incense Rev 8:4), then our life will smell sweet to Him.  Furthermore, it is only important what God thinks of us.  Trying to always please people will put us under a bondage (I know this), but the bondage of love to Christ is blessed (I know this, too).  Most of the time, a life lived well before God will be pleasing to those around us too, but we cannot always depend on that.  Our focus must always be on God and how we can serve and please him.  May we strive to keep the dead flies (I think of that as selfish motives or desires) out of the ointment.



  1. You know...... I needed to read this. Even those closest to me should not be allowed in my mind to put me in bondage......... "how do I look to Jesus? That's what counts most of all!"

    1. I often need to remember my own philosophy...