Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: DELICIOUS (02/04/16)
TITLE: Do You Stink?
By Diane M. Bowman
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"Look at this fabric; it's the purest white I have ever seen." One woman exclaimed to another.
"I know. Can you believe the king invited us here? And to his son's wedding at that? I'd have been glad to peek through the window. And who would've thought that the bath houses would be so wonderful? I've never been so clean in my life. Can you smell the fragrance they put on me?" Her friend responded as she ran her hand slowly down the fine linen of her garment.
Just then, the excited chatter of the room ceased. Someone was at the door.
<i>Was it the king and his son?</i>
A man filthy, stinking man walked boldly in. His presence changed the aroma of the room from exquisite deliciousness to a horrifying stench.The crowd began to whisper and then to talk louder and louder until they were crying out to him.
"Who are you?"
"Why are you not dressed for the wedding?"
"Why have you not bathed?"
"Did you not receive the instructions from the king?"
"The king invited me here. In person. Yes, I know his men said he would provide a way for me to be clean and dressed like royalty, but come on, if he wants me here, why would he care how I look or smell? It's me he wants. You all just bought into the line that his men told you. Besides, I don't smell <i>that</i> bad." The man answered in disdain as he flipped his long greasy hair to one side.
The room turned to chaos as the people called out to him again.
"Do you not know your smell will ruin the banquet?"
"The king cannot be near someone who is not clean."
"Sir, you <i>must</i> leave before the king arrives."
Then, the door opened again. Every person in the room fell to the floor before the king and his son. Except for one. The filthy late comer walked right up to the king, slapped him on the back and said, "Pretty good spread you've got here."
The king looked at him in bewilderment, "Friend, why are you not wearing the wedding clothes I gave to you?"
The man was unable to utter one word in response.
The king shook his head in sadness and commanded his servants, "Take him away."
I wonder how often we are just like this man, with no idea how badly we smell before God. We've become accustomed to our odor and no longer notice it.
It may be the stench of blatant unholy living or the muck of spiritual stagnation that causes our personal aroma to be far less than delicious. Perhaps, we are no longer concerned about our soul's hygiene - the daily presenting of ourselves before God to allow him to cleanse us with his word.
It could be that we don't realize our smell matters to God, thinking the one who gave us the capacity to discern between good and bad scents would not possess this ability himself.
In the Old Testament, the children of Israel sacrificed animals to give a sweet savor to the Lord. God has called us to give ourselves to him as a living sacrifice. Even the prayers of his saints rise up like incense before him.
Today, as you walk with God, pause a little while and consider: <i>Do you stink?</i>
For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ . . .
(2 Corinthians 2:15 KJV)
. . . and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. (Revelation 8:3-4 KJV)
Matthew 22:9-13 KJV, Leviticus 2:9 KJV
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