Monday, May 7, 2012
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Years ago I had some friends who lived near a heavy industrial area where the mills filled the air with a shall we say very distinctive aroma; well, actually, smell would be a better word for it. It was sort of a sulfur-like, rotten eggs type of odor. When you first went there, you would sniff and you'd go, "What is that?" And the people who lived there would say, "What's what?" See, they'd lived around the stink so long, it didn't even register any more. Well, you know, there are some smells you should never get used to.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Don't Ever Get Used to the Smell."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from the prophet Ezekiel. He is receiving his instructions from the Lord in the form of a vision, and here's what it says in chapter 9, verse 2. "With the six men, I saw one clothed in linen who had a writing kit at his side. They came in and stood beside the bronze altar. Now the glory of the God of Israel went up from above the cherubim, where it had been, and moved to the threshold of the temple. Then the Lord called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side, and said to him, 'Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.'"
Okay, God is saying here, "I'm looking for some people who don't gloss over the sin around them; people who grieve over sin." Well, they were hard to find then; they're hard to find now. Those kind of people were special then, and they're special now. People who don't get so used to being in the middle of sin that they don't notice the smell any more.
Chances are that you come in daily contact with a lot of sinful garbage; lying that's considered just to be smart business, an acceptance of adultery, a flippant attitude toward sexual purity. Like the two guys sitting next to me at the pizza place recently. One very casually said to the other one, and pardon my bluntness, but this is the way he stated it, "So, did he get laid yet?" See, that's casual about something God calls sacred. It's a flippant "who cares" approach to a sacred act of love, created by God for a lifetime bond. Well, how does that make you feel?
See, we're around it so much sometimes it doesn't break our heart any more, but it breaks God's heart all the time, and He's looking for people whose heart it can break. We hear people treat God's name, Jesus' name, like dirt. Jesus, the name at which every knee will bow. There are attitudes that amount to nothing less than idol worship, and we're no longer bothered by it: living for money, living for a guy or a girl, living for your music, living for the next party, living for your children. It's time we prayed, "God, give me back my sense of spiritual smell."
Unless we get with God daily and see what He sees, feels what He feels, we will be worn down, we're going to be eroded until, honestly, sin really doesn't look that bad. Imagine telling a drunk driving joke to a man who kept saying, "Please, I don't think it's funny." You say, "What is your problem?" "Because a drunk driver killed my son."
See, that's how God feels about the sin that we take so lightly. It killed His Son. You want to see what sin looks like? It's God's Son hanging by nails from a tree. Ask God to make you wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil rather than being intrigued by it.
Sin stinks! It's the rotting odor of death, no matter how glamorously it is perfumed. So, don't get used to the smell.