Dead flies cause perfume to stink ...
As dead flies cause even a bottle of perfume to stink, so a little foolishness spoils great wisdom and honor. [Ecclesiastes 10:1 NLT]
The book of Ecclesiastes seems to exude regret. I often wonder if Solomon is speaking from first hand experience when he talks about fools and foolishness. Interesting to note how many people I have known have virtually thrown their lives and their ministry away because of one act of foolishness. I remember how, in one foolish acquiescence to temptation, my pastor of 18 years ruined his reputation. It seems to me that a pride filled ego often grows stronger with age.
The words "dead flies" reminds me of how Jesus describes religious leaders as whitewashed graves that looked good on the outside but were dead on the inside. Connecting that to what Solomon says here, one could say that the legalism and judgmentalism of some is what makes religion stink. What was meant to be something beautiful and aromatic is made to stink simply because of the unloving and uncaring way that religion is exercised and practiced.
Help us Lord. Our religion too often looks pharisaic. Help our lives to be a sweel aroma in your nostrils.