WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 25, 2021
TOPIC: LITTLE FOLLY; LITTLE FOXES!
BY T. O. BANSO
“Dead flies putrefy the perfumer’s ointment, and cause it to give off a foul odor; so does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor” (Ecclesiastes 10:1 New King James Version).
Song of Solomon 2:15 says, “Quick! Catch all the little foxes before they ruin the vineyard of your love, for the grapevines are all in blossom” (New Living Translation). Little foxes! Little foxes are as dangerous as a little folly.
Ecclesiastes 10:1 says, “Dead flies putrefy the perfumer’s ointment, and cause it to give off a foul odor; so does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor” (New King James Version). The New Living Translation renders the verse thus: “Dead flies will cause even a bottle of perfume to stink! Yes, an ounce of foolishness can outweigh a pound of wisdom and honor” (New Living Translation).
A little folly will mess up the life or testimony of a wise person just as dead flies will pollute the ointment or perfume of many people. The Bible says Beelzebub is the god of flies. Through the operations of demonic spirits, someone’s perfume, ointment, anointing can be putrefied or polluted. If this happens, the perfume of someone’s marriage, business, ministry, etc. can be spreading a stinking odour, a foul odour instead of a pleasant smell.
A little folly can destroy an unblemished career of many years. It could ruin a marriage of decades. Just a little folly could rubbish many years of diligent labour. It could bring a man of honour and repute into disgrace. In such a circumstance, only the mercy and power of God can save the victim.
My prayer is that if there are dead flies that have polluted your perfume, as you repent of your folly, the Lord will have mercy and deliver you by His power. I pray that He will purify your putrefied perfume and restore the pleasant smell. Folly will not possess you or continue to rule your life.
You don’t need much folly or foolishness to ruin your life, marriage, business, ministry, or any pursuit! A little folly is enough. Beware! That’s why Ephesians 5:15 says you should be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Live circumspectly. Avoid a little folly. Wisdom brings success (Ecclesiastes 10:10). Wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness (Ecclesiastes 2:13).
Little folly; little foxes! Little foxes, if not dealt with, are just enough to destroy a blossoming grapevine and ruin the vineyard of your love. According to Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, “Foxes were common predators in Bible times. Since they fed on small rodents like rats and mice, they helped to protect the grain crops. But their fondness for grapes caused farmers much grief. Sometimes they even tunneled under protective walls to feast on grapevines (Song 2:15). Foxes also settle in holes and burrows, often those abandoned by other animals.”
Easton’s Bible Dictionary says this of a fox: It burrows, is silent and solitary in its habits, is destructive to vineyards, being a plunderer of ripe grapes.” American Tract Society Dictionary says, “The fox is cunning, voracious, and mischievous.” Reference is made to Ezekiel 13:4 and Luke 13:32. Beware of little foxes! Jesus says that foxes have holes and the birds of the heaven have nests; but the Son of Man had nowhere to lay His head (Matthew 8:20; Luke 9:58).
Little folly; Little foxes! Examine your life and get rid of whatever constitutes a little folly and Little foxes. You may be doing everything right or well, but just that little folly can mess up everything. Your vineyard could be flourishing but little foxes will ruin it if you permit them.
Please pay attention to the second part of Ecclesiastes 10:1. It says, “Yes, an ounce of foolishness can outweigh a pound of wisdom and honor” (New Living Translation). An ounce is a very small amount of something or the smallest measurement of weight. A pound is more than an ounce. There are 16 ounces in one pound. Yet, that scripture says an ounce of foolishness can outweigh a pound of wisdom and honour. A little folly will tarnish the reputation of a wise man.
This was what happened to Ahithophel in the Bible. He was a man regarded for his wise counsel. He was one of David’s counselors who assisted Absalom, David’s son, in his revolt. 2 Samuel 16:23 says the advice of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was as if one had inquired at the oracle of God. When David heard that he was among the conspirators, he knew there was real trouble. David prayed to the LORD to turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness (2 Samuel 17:23).
God answered David’s prayer. He caused Ahithophel’s advice to Absalom, which was actually a piece of sound advice, to be rejected so that David’s life could be preserved. “So Absalom and all the men of Israel said, ‘The advice of Hushai the Archite is better than the advice of Ahithophel.’ For the LORD had purposed to defeat the good advice of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring disaster on Absalom” (2 Samuel 17:14 New King James Version).
The rejection of Ahithophel’s advice might have made him look like a fool. He, probably, considered it a blemish on his reputation. Another reason could be that he knew that Absalom’s rebellion would fail because of the delay in pursuing David that night, as he had advised and he didn’t want to face the punishment for supporting the rebellion when David reclaimed the throne. Therefore, Ahithophel hanged himself (2 Samuel 17:14).
Examine your life, marriage, relationships, business, and so on. Is there a little folly you’re engaging in? Are you being guided by the Word of God or you’re involved in some unbiblical practices that will later prove you stupid? What are the little foxes you’re tolerating in your marriage, ministry, business, or life? You may think they don’t matter. You may consider them small things but they are just enough to destroy your marriage, business, career, or ministry.
The little foxes may appear harmless, but they are still foxes! You may be comfortable with them. But they may make you weep uncontrollably later. Then it may be too late. “Look after each other so that none of you will miss out on the special favor of God. Watch out that no bitter root of unbelief rises up among you, for whenever it springs up, many are corrupted by its poison. Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau. He traded his birthright as the oldest son for a single meal. And afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he wept bitter tears” (Hebrews 12:15-17 New Living Translation).
Some are engaged in a little folly of pre-marital sex, extra-marital sex, and other sins and think they are enjoying. The pleasures of sin are for a moment but the consequences could be eternal. Moses chose to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin; he esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward (Hebrews 11:25-26).
Joseph ran away from Potiphar’s wife (Genesis 39:7-12). Samson lost his power on the lap of Delilah and eventually died with his enemies (Judges 16). David committed adultery with Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba, and killed the husband (2 Samuel 11). What is your little folly? What are the little foxes you must catch before they ruin your vineyard? Little folly; little foxes.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of the little folly I have done; forgive me, Father. Forgive me also for the little foxes I have allowed in my vineyard. All the little foxes that want to ruin or are already destroying my vineyard – destiny, marriage, relationships, etc. – you are destroyed in Jesus’ name. Father, purify my perfume anointing, ministry, family, marriage, and so that dead flies have polluted. Let the smell of my anointing, ministry, marriage, business, etc be pleasant again.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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