A few nights ago, our rough collie Angel Joy walked into the backyard and stood sniffing the breeze. It hit me too, the sweet fragrance of wild honeysuckle on a fence across the lane.
We have roses in the garden. They smell sweet when you bend over them and inhale, and they are lovely in appearance—but they cannot out-fragrance a honeysuckle, even though some people label the vine “a weed.”
You don’t have to be a rose to smell sweet.
Like honeysuckle, truth can be deceptive. Sometimes the rosy blossom of a lie looks more attractive than the stalwart form of truth—no matter how pure the truth smells and how badly the lie stinks.
When a friend called for clarification about three Bible verses, one of which seemed to contradict the other two, I was reminded of this. King Saul knew God had rejected him as king and had anointed David. For years, Saul sought to kill David. Twice, Saul was delivered into David’s hand and David could have killed his enemy and become king. Instead, David said, “I will not raise my hand against God’s anointed.” David wanted to do things right and wait for God’s timing.
Both I Chronicles 10:4 and I Samuel 31:4 say that Saul was wounded in battle. He asked his armorbearer to kill him so the enemy would not capture and abuse him, but the armorbearer refused to lift his hand against the king. So Saul fell on his sword and killed himself.
Then, in 2 Samuel 1:10, one of the enemies ran to David with Saul’s crown and bracelet and said that Saul was wounded and asked to be killed, and he killed him as requested. This was a lie. A rose-colored version which the unfortunate Amalekite hoped would bring him honor and rewards from David. After all, Saul had stalked David and attempted to kill him for years. Now David would be king. Surely David would reward him for killing his enemy. Instead, David said, “How was it you were not afraid to put forth your hand to destroy the LORD’s anointed?” David had him executed.
To the Amalekite, his lie held the beauty of a rich, blooming rose. It proved to be his death flower.
Truth does not always hold the beauty of a rose, but it always holds the fragrance of the finest flower blooming in God’s garden. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Then He died and rose victorious to show that we, too, can have everlasting life.
From weed to flower, whatever shape the Truth of Jesus assumes, its fragrance is always unmatched.