Fragrance. It can either be a pleasing aroma or a painful experience. In the sweet town of Ashland, OR, sits the Lithia community fountain, much like the fountains found at an elementary school; three or four water spigots allowing for more than one person at a time to get a drink of cool, refreshing water.
The unique aspect of the Lithia fountain is that the water comes from a natural spring high in content of natural lithium oxide. Even more unique is the ability to smell the water before you taste it. This may cause one not to want to try the water to begin with, as it not only smells like rotten eggs, it tastes like its smell.
In today’s verse Joel is prophesying to God’s people about God removing the northern army that has been attacking them. (Interesting note, Joel switches between prophesying about the devastation of a locust attack and a mighty army, leaving theologians with two schools of thought: metaphor or actual).
Whether metaphor or actual, this is the enemy, a physical enemy that caused great harm and damage, and a spiritual enemy using a preemptive strike against God’s people with the temptation to once again turn away from God. The enemy’s tactic has not changed over the millennia. He still whispers, “Did God really say?”
Through Joel, God tells His people that He will cause the stench and foul odor of the enemy to rise up. Plain and simple, the enemy stinks! Literally. But, what if we asked God to give us a keener smell to the presence of the enemy? Would the use of this physical sense cause us to remember to turn to God and ask for His help? Would it cause us to pray? Would it be a reminder to focus on God before we open our mouth, hit send, or take action?
My encouragement today is for me and you. Let’s practicing being a pleasing aroma rather than a painful experience.
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