Today I was looking at air fresheners online. My room here in the seminary needs some refreshing every now and then, and now that the weather is getting a little colder, the open window is less and less an option.
The room needs a new scent.
So, a quick peek on the internet, and a webpage popped up with a description of an air freshener. First it describes odor molecules as large and complicated. Then, the product apparently attaches itself to the odor molecules and transforms them into simple, harmless things. Then, a new scent is added to change the air smell to a nice pleasant one.
How they figured all that out, I have no idea. But, before you can put a nice, refreshing scent into the air, first you have to bind up and neutralize the big, formidable, complicated odor molecules. Some binding up and neutralizing goes with adding the new, fresh scent. You need both.
When John the Baptist came baptizing before the Lord, the Scripture tells us that he ate nothing but locusts and honey. Now, we all know that honey is sweet, but what’s the deal with the locusts? Why did God have him only eat these two things, bugs and honey?
It’s because God put into John’s mouth what He wanted to come out of John’s mouth. That’s what He does with prophets.
So, if you’ve got a bunch of people who are suffering and in need, and smelling good as far as generosity and forgiveness goes, well, the Lord will give them honey when He comes to visit. Oh, the great gifts He gives, sweeter than can be imaged!
But, the locust?
See, locusts attach themselves very quickly to trees and crops. If you were to have a big, thriving agricultural system with people living off a lot of excess, one bout with locusts would transform the economy into a simple, powerless misery in short order. So, if you’ve got a bunch of people who are thriving on a lot of big, complicated excess and giving nothing except a terrible moral odor, well then, if God wants to put in a fresh odor, He’s going to give them the locust when He comes.
“But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man; then indeed he may plunder his house.” (Mk 3:27)
That’s what John gave everyone from his mouth, locusts and honey. The proud got the locusts. The humble got the honey.
We have a big, complicated, formidable economic system, a big, formidable, complicated political system. We’ve got a big, formidable, complicated educational system, and even in the Church, we have a big, formidable, and complicated system. If God wants to change the odor, He will come and speak through His prophets. He will send the locusts.
If you are suffering and in need and are still giving and forgiving, then get ready for something great when God wants to change the odor. Get ready for the honey.
And a new scent.