The Corpse Flower
By Dianne Matthews
-- On June 8, 1937, a specimen of the world's largest flower bloomed in the United States at the New York Botanical Garden.
The giant Sumatran Titan Arum (Amorphophallus titanum) measured eight and a half feet high with a four-foot diameter.
Visitors were repelled by its putrid, rotting-corpse fragrance.
The plant is native to the Sumatran jungles of Indonesia, where it is called the "corpse flower."
The first Western botanist to find the Titan Arum was Dr. Odoardo Beccari of Italy. He sent his patron seeds and supervised their cultivation in Italy. From there, shipments of the "corpse flower" were sent to other countries.
Eve decided that the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil looked delicious and pretty, and would make her wise.
Genesis 3:6 says,
"When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it." (NIV)
But when she and Adam disobeyed God's command, and ate from the forbidden tree, it was as if the fruit became "corpse fruit." For the first time, the stench of death and decay entered God's perfect garden. They were repelled by the results, and expelled from the garden.
We play out that same scene anytime we give in to sin's pull. A habit seems harmless, an activity appears pleasurable, or a relationship looks attractive, so we ignore the Spirit's nudge that this is not in line with God's will.
Eventually what seemed harmless blooms into full-blown sin, with a putrid fragrance of death and destruction. The results may be the death of a dream or ministry, or even physical death.
We need to remember that just because a flower has a large, colorful bloom doesn't mean it smells good. And just because a decision looks harmless doesn't mean that we won't be repelled by the results.
This Devotion is taken from The One Year On This Day Devotion.
(Tyndale House Publishers)
© 2005 Dianne Neal Matthews
Dianne Neal Matthews’ publishing credits include magazine articles, Devotions, and newspaper features. Her work has won several awards, including the 2006 Writer of the Year Award at the Write-to-Publish Conference in Wheaton, Illinois. She and her husband, Richard, have been married thirty-two years and have three grown children and one granddaughter. Dianne is currently working on The One Year Women of the Bible Devotion scheduled for release by Tyndale in August 2007.
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