AND THEY GATHERED THEM TOGETHER UPON HEAPS: AND THE LAND STANK.
THE STINKING LAND, IN THE LAND OF PLENTY.
I’s ‘ start the message off by sharing a personal story. I’m an electrician by trade. I once went to a tenant house that was owned by a farmer in my neighborhood. It was a few outlets in the house that didn’t work, and he got me to try and fix them. One of the outlets was behind the bed. Just to let you know, it was in the middle of summer. This bed was old and was sunk in in the middle of the mattress. It was at least a two-inch strip of dirt right down the middle of that mattress. However, I didn’t say a word to the owner of the house which was following right behind me. As I reached to pull the curtain back at the window behind the bed, it seemed like a thousand flies flew out of that curtain. It startled me. I jerk my hand back! when I did, I elbowed the owner right in his stomach. At that, I felt I had to apologize. At that point he opened up and began to share his feelings with me. He took me to the front door and pointed to a garden spot beside the house.
In that garden spot was all kinds of vegetables just going to the bad. He said, you see that. I supplied the tractor to work that garden, the fertilizes o help it grow, the seed and plants to plant it, even paid the tenants of this house to plant this garden. Not one of them will get out here and save anything in this garden!
He said, they get a welfare check and food stamps. As long as the government gives them all they need, you can’t even get them to work!
You know as well as I that as time moved forward, that garden spot begin to stink because of the rot there. However, can you see how that this whole situation was already stinking in the nostrils of the farmer, the man that own this land?
As we look at the verse of scripture, we see that the Nation of Israel were slaves to the land of Egypt. Time after time, God had sent Moses to Pharoah asking him to (let his people go) but he refused. God had begun to send plagues on the land of Egypt to open the eyes of Pharoah. We see in this verse that the land (stank).
Look at this verse:
I HAVE SENT AMONG YOU THE PESTILRNCE AFTER THE MANNER OF EGYPT: YOUR YOUNG MEN HAVE I SLAIN WITH THE SWORD, AND HAVE TAKEN AWAYS YOUR HORSES; AND I HAVE MADE THE STINK OF YOUR NOSTRILS: YET HAVE YE NOT RETURNED UNTO ME, SAITH THE LORD.
Most of us know what corruption smell like. We turn our heads and try to get away from the smell of it. Things such as a dead carcass or the infection we often see on our own bodies. If we go into a home that we consider as unclean, we don’t have any desire to eat there. As a matter of fact, we often refuse even to go to a place like that.
But consider this! In the mind and heart of God, this world is completely corrupt, rotten with the curse of sin. Yet he in the body of Jesus Christ chose to come and live among us! He wrapped his arms around you stinking body, pulling you to him in all of your ungodliness. I’m reminded of the father of the prodigal we read about in (Luke 15). You can read the whole account if you wish but I’ll just show these few verses that’s relevant to our message.
BUT THE FATHER SAID TO HIS SERVANTS, BRING FORTH THE BEST ROBE, AND PUT IT ON HIM; AND PUT A RING ON HIS HAND, AND SHOES ON HIS FEET: (23) AND BRING HITHER THE FATTED CALF, AND KILL IT; AND LET US EAT, AND BE MERRY, (24) FOR THIS MY SON WAS DEAD, AND IS ALIVE AGAIN; HE WAS LOST, AND IS FOUND. AND THEY BEGAN TO BE MERRY.
I’ll try and get to why I point this out in a moment. But first I like telling personal stories to help make points. Before I was born-again, I cursed terribly. I also smoked, even for a while after I got saved. Once I quit smoking, I could walk into a room with an ashtray and think, did i use to smell like that? When I quit cursing, I could hear someone cursing and think, boy, I use to sound just that ungodly.
I was asked to come preach at a small Church once. While I was preaching the message, I told the people just how bad I use to curse. I told them I still had all those words within my head, I would still use them if I chose to. I walked out into the congregation in front of two ladies, looked at them and asked them, you want to hear me say them. They replied (no)!
If you will notice in the verses, we read. The son wasn’t cleaned up, his was simply covered with a robe. I’d say the ring was a symbol of acceptance, and the shoes, the ability to walk a new path.
When we ask Jesus Christ to be our Savior, we don’t become clean, we are simply covered in his blood! Our very testimony is significant in the way the ring was on the son’s finger or hand. We reveal that we have been excepted by our Lord, just as we are! That doesn’t mean we are to stay as we are but, we are accepted as we are.
As we move forward, we are to allow God’s word to cleanse us by the washing of his word.
HUSBANDS, LOVE YOUR WIVES, EVEN AS CHRIST ALSO LOVED THE CHURCH, AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR IT; (26) THAT HE MIGHT SANCTIFY AND CLEANSE IT WITH THE WASHING OF WATER BY THE WORD.
If we used a metaphor of what I’m trying to say, it would be this. If you stood over an open septic tank peering down into all that corruption and stink that would be how God, the Father looks down and views this world. It’s all worthless and filled with the sinfulness of man.
God devised a way through the blood of Jesus Christ to find something beautiful in all that corruption. When the blood of Jesus Christ is applied, a beautiful flower, a rose can grow from the corruption sending a sweet-smelling savor into the very nostrils of God.
2 Corinthians 2:15-16
FOR WE ARE A SWEET SAVOR OF CHRIST, IN THEM THAT ARE SAVED, AND IN THEM THAT PERISH: (16) TO THE ONE WE ARE THE SAVOR OF DEATH UNTO DEATH; AND TO THE OTHER THE SAVOR OF LIFE UNTO LIFE. AND WHO IS SUFFICIENT FOR THESE THINGS? (17) GOR WE ARE NOT AS MANY, WHICH CORRUPT THE WORD OF GOD: BUT AS OF SINCERITY, BUT AS OF GOD, IN THE SIGHT OF GOD SPEAK WE CHRIST.
Just as the corruption of dead frogs stank in the nostrils of the Egyptians, if we are still part of this world, we stink in the nostrils of the Almighty God! The whole world stinks, filled with corruption to God. WE, as people have a way of looking at people and seeing beauty in their flesh, admiring them for how they look, what they do, how much they own. However, without the blood of Jess Christ as a covering for our sin, we stink in the nostrils go God!
Once we are born-again, one of the sweetest blessings for our Lord is to see the word of God preached in our presence and that very word causing us to wash the corruption of sin off ourselves. For us to be willing to hear that word and yield to the very desires of a righteous God is a sweet smell in his nostrils.
As born-again believers we are ambassadors in this septic tank of sin we live in. The only thing that is good about us is the fact that we speak the name of Jesus Christ and, seek to bring the covering of his precious blood to each sinner that is lost that we come in contact with. Our complete desire should be to have God to smell the sweet savor of the blood of Jesus Christ on them as well as our own bodies.
When God come in contact with you, what does he smell? Do you still stink, smell of the corruption of this world? Or does he smell the blood of Jesus Christ as he walks close by your side?
2 Corinthians 6:2
(FOR HE SAITH, I HAVE HEARD THEE IN A TIME ACCEPTED, AND IN THE DAY OF SALVATION HAVE I SUCCOURED THEE: BEHOLD, NOW IS THE ACCEPTED TIME; BEHOLD, NOW IS THE DAY OF SALVATION.)
2 Timothy 1:7