The Parable of The Fly Burger
A Devotional Thought on Ecclesiastes 10:1
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
Let me tell you a little parable about the fly burger.
Well, it actually wasn’t a fly, I think it was a moth. To tell you the truth, it is sort of hard to be sure what it was, because of all the cheese. That day, I had gone to a favorite restaurant for lunch with a few friends. I ordered the lunch special and the fella across from me ordered a big cheeseburger and fries. They brought out the food and I have to tell you his burger looked incredible, I was jealous! The beef was plentiful and juicy, it appeared to be cooked just right. I saw fresh pickles, tomatoes and the expensive lettuce that might actually be good for you. My lunch special barely covered my plate and had nothing special about. My friend’s burger, now that looked special! We realized how special it was when the cheese began to move. The wings of some insect were flapping, desperately trying to escape. I must pause to say that if given the choice of how to leave this old world, being smothered in cheese isn’t the worst of options. My friend didn’t say a word, he just leaned back and pointed to the burger so the waitress could see. My buddy was so bugged by the movement of the cheese that he sent it back. The ingredients seemed to be of the finest quality, the preparation was almost to perfection but one added ingredient spoiled it all.
Solomon taught that a fine ointment can be ruined by the presence of dead flies. I have read some debate about the ointment’s intended purpose but does it matter? Whether the mixture was for perfume or medication is really irrelevant isn’t it? Who wants an ointment that contains death? The Preacher’s point was that a little foolishness, a little sin, a little carelessness can contaminate a lot of good. One indiscriminate act can ruin a career or a testimony. Most assuredly, this verse is a warning to be careful and think about the big picture when making decisions.
A little bad can spoil a lot of good.
Is that principle not true when it comes to our condition without Christ? One might say that they do a lot of good, that their good works outnumber their bad and from a human standpoint that may even be true. The problem with such a philosophy is the same as the issue my friend had with his burger or Solomon had with his cologne, a little bad can spoil a lot of good! Look at what James said,
James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
One great preacher of the past explained this passage like this, imagine that each of God’s commandments were an individual link of a chain holding a person very high in the air, does it matter that only one of the links become weak and break? The falling man may complain that his chain was mostly strong, but that argument would not help ease the effect of the impact. One link can render a chain useless, one dead fly can ruin a bottle of ointment and one cheese covered moth can spoil your appetite. It is not the quantity of sins in a person’s life that makes them lost, but sin’s mere presence.
There is good news, Jesus will present all that come to him by faith faultless to the Father.
24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
That failure that ruined your career, your marriage, your testimony, it doesn’t have to define you. Jesus offers forgiveness and a new life in him.
That is the parable of the fly burger, I hope it didn’t spoil your appetite.