In contemplating the two belief systems of trusting in God and the love of idolatry, trusting in God will outshine the love of idolatry every time. There is a fragrance of Christ that emanates from those who trust in God. On the other hand, there is a spirit of the world emanating the spirit of death for those who love idolatry. The fragrance of Christ diffuses the fragrance of God’s knowledge in every place. It is the aroma of life leading to life. Whereas the spirit of idolatry is the aroma of death leading to death. This undying trust in God is the powerful antidote against idolatry. Trust is the trump card that defeats the world of idolatry.
“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?” II Corinthians 2:14-16
In Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan writes of Christian and Faithful encountering the materialism while in the town of Vanity where the spirit of idolatry rules. “I then saw in my dream that when they had gotten out of the wilderness, they saw a town before them and the name of the town is Vanity. A fair is set up in the town and it is called Vanity Fair. It is held there year round and it bears the name of Vanity Fair because the town where it is located is lighter than Vanity.” Bunyan inserts scripture next to the phrase “lighter than vanity.” It describes men of low and high stature as being weighed on the scales. “Surely men of low degree are a vapor, men of high degree are a lie. If they are weighed on the scales they are all together lighter than vapor.” (Psalm 62:9) The point being that there is no weight to their souls. There is no substance or solidity in their souls. There is a meaningless that gives way to nothingness in their delighting in Vanity Fair. All things sought after in Vanity Fair will end in this judgment, “This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.” Ecclesiastes 2:26.
Bunyan continues to write, “Everything that is sold there or that comes from there is meaningless, as in the saying of the Wise, everything to come is meaningless. This fair is not a recent standing established business, but a thing of ancient standing.” It reeks of the aroma of death leading to death.
But there are other people in this Vanity Fair that are not the subjects of Beelzebub, the ruler of this kingdom. They are the children of God who are living in and for Christ with the joy of the Lord. Nehemiah 8:10. You find them throughout the whole world. They are the disciples of Jesus praising and worshiping the Lord. They are raising their families in the Lord. They are fellowshipping in the church with others who know the same Lord. They are the light of the world. Matthew 5:14. They are people of trust and they hate idolatry. They are like King David in Psalm 31. “In you, O’ Lord, I put my trust; Let me never be ashamed; Deliver me in Your righteousness.” In Psalm 31:1 David prays that he would never put the Name of Christ to shame, the Name which he bears in his soul and life. His trust in the Lord has also given him a hatred for idolatry, the aroma of death leading to death. He detests the way of Vanity Fair and its pleasures, merchandise, and luxuries that attract the people of the world.
Note David’s wisdom in his thoughts on idolatry. “I have hated those who regard useless idols; but I trust in the Lord.” Psalm 31:6. This attitude will trump any spirit of idolatry, whether it be drugs, alcohol, pain pills, false gods, sexual sins, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life. Empty souls cannot cope with life because their hopes are full of the emptiness of idolatry. You must hate them for they are the savor of death leading to death. Only a trust in God and a hatred for the things that are worshiped in place of the Lord will enable you to cope with the pressures and stresses of life. Pursue the Lord. Follow and serve Him. “For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” Psalm 107:9. “Happy are the people whose God is the Lord.” Psalm 144:15. May the Lord bless you.