Stinky Stuff God Has Used to Set People Free

How stinky the prison in which Joseph sat.

He ended up there because some lady rat

Accused him of doing what no man should do.

She said he attacked her, but that was not true.

 

But in that foul hole, this young man found release

From her accusations through THE prince of peace.

Her lies didn’t hurt because God set him free

So that he could follow his true destiny.

 

Jeremiah the prophet was tossed in a pit,

And sank in the muck where men left him to sit,

Because they did not want to heed what he said.

That’s why they decided he needed that bed.

 

Imagine him mourn as they lower him down,

Bemoaning the evil that stinks up his town.

“Repent of old mindsets that offer no glee

And you won’t be harmed by this captivity.”

 

The officials determined to starve him to death,

But he looked to God, who had given him breath.

Then up from above – was it manna? Not quite.

How stinky the rags that enabled his flight!

 

They didn’t smell pretty yet helped rescue him

From being shut up in that prison so dim.

For, those who love freedom must deal with the stench

Of soul-binding fetters that make their guts wrench.

 

See Lazarus leaving his now-empty tomb,

Wrapped up like a mummy, with so little room

To walk or to move or to breathe out a word.

Martha said, “It’ll smell,” and I think they all heard

 

Jesus say, “Take the stinky stuff off. Set him free.”

What stench! Hold your nose if you love liberty

That comes when you have faith to move any stone

Which stands in the way of approaching God’s throne.

 

Though confession be smelly, it helps to reveal

God’s mercy through Christ who has power to heal.

For, consider the man who lived close to some pigs,

While cutting himself among burial digs.

 

His devils did not smell good, even in pink.

When Christ cast them out, they sure did make a stink.

But Jesus still used it to set the man free.

For, He can use all things to help you and me.        .

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The Old Man and his Germy Rags – Who Wants Them?

Once there was an old man who found bargains worth good money.

Those germy rags looked stunning in the land of milk of honey.

They dripped with odes to worldly fame, success, prosperity.

This military man was rich and plundered them for free.

But when it came to TRUE wealth, he was poor as poor could be.

A social outcast when it came to God’s kingdom was he.

That’s because his name was Naaman. He had leprosy.

A stranger to God’s people and God’s promises was he.

 

The Lord had made a banquet from which Naaman couldn’t eat,

Because the germy rags he wore, they didn’t smell so sweet.

His sin-stained garments stunk like skunk. He dared not enter near,

Lest in God’s light of truth his inward nakedness appear.

A little girl with child-like faith he’d stolen saw it though,

And pointed this old man to one through whom God’s word did flow.

“There is a prophet from my land who has the cure you need.”

Into the old man’s sin-sick heart she sowed a precious seed.

 

Meanwhile, the germy rags of human reasoning got him lost.

Wrapped ‘round his eyes, they led him to believe he was the boss

He understood authority – no question about that,

But when it came to wisdom, he was blinder than a bat.

 

His message caused a king to tear his robes in hot despair.

“I cannot cure this man!” he grumbled, angry as a bear.

Elisha finally intervened: “Direct the man to me.”

He had a word of prophecy to heal the leprosy

 

Of one whose mind was focused on a “quick and easy sell.”

“He’ll wave his hand over the spot and I will be made well,”

Thought Naaman, who had brought with him a stack of  “bargain clothes”

To please his nagging wife who said “You must get rid of those.”

 

“They are so worn and germy, I can’t stand to bear the sight.

So, when you’re cured, please throw them out. They make me too uptight.

Get rid of them by any means you possibly can find,

And get yourself some brand new duds before I lose my mind.”

 

“Yeah, right,” her spouse agreed. “I’ll do it if you say so, dear,”

Not knowing God required more than might at first appear.

For Naaman wanted healing but would not let God too near.

Elisha seemed to pick up on his lack of holy fear,

 

Because instead of meeting the commander face to face,

He sent a messenger to say, “Seek out the special place,

A river of humility, where miracles abound,

Remove your clothes, bathe seven times. Your skin shall then be sound.”

 

Proud Naaman balked at this. “I must get naked, take a bath?”

He stormed off in a rage, and his poor servants felt the wrath.

With kindness they persuaded him to do as he was told.

So, Naaman dipped in Jordan, and his wrinkled skin so old

Took on a freshness reminiscent of a little child.

Rejoicing in his new attire – how soft, how fresh, how mild!

He offered to repay Elisha for his healing word,

Only to hear, “The water’s free. To pay would be absurd!”

 

Gehazi, though, was eager for some quick prosperity.

He drooled for Naaman’s worldly wealth and “What’s in it for me?”

He lied to get the old man’s garments which were not germ-free.

That’s how Elisha’s servant ended up with leprosy.