a stink instead of perfume

February 2015 (4)

Isaiah 3:18-26

18 In that day the Lord will take away the fine clothes: the anklets and the headbands and the crescent necklaces, 19 the pendants and the bracelets and the veils, 20 the headdresses and the armlets and the sashes, and the boxes of fresh breath[1] and the amulets, 21 the signet rings and the nose rings, 22 the festal robes and the mantles, and the cloaks and the handbags, 23 and the mirrors and the linen garments, and the turbans and the wraps. 24 And the result will be: There will be a stink instead of perfume, and a rope instead of a sash, and baldness instead of a well-set hairdo, and a clothing wrap of sackcloth instead of a rich robe, branding instead of beauty. 25 Your men will fall by the sword, and your warriors in battle. 26 And her gates will lament and mourn, and she will be banished; she will sit on the ground.

a stink instead of perfume

Isaiah is talking about the city of Jerusalem and describing her as a woman, fully decked out in all the finery of his day. But God is going to take it all away, and substitute the baldness of disease, the branding of slavery, the sackcloth of poverty, and the stink of neglect. All of that extraneous stuff was a gift from God. But when God is ignored, he sometimes has to strip us of those blessings before we can realize what we have done.

If you are blessed today, praise God for it. But remember that all that stuff is from him, and he is free to remove it. What is left when the stuff goes?

LORD, make our lives virtuous, and a sweet smelling, even when all the extraneous stuff is taken away.


[1] i.e. perfume.

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About Jefferson Vann

Jeff is a Christian missionary.
This entry was posted in blessings, dependence upon God, integrity and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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