The picture here is not pleasant. Dead flies decomposing in a bottle of fine perfume. Somehow the value of that ointment seems a bit lost at this point!! No thanks, I think I'll pass!
Solomon draws a vivid comparison of those dead flies and their soiling effect on that precious perfume to a wise man who has acted foolishly and soiled his reputation. It only takes one fly in the ointment to make a massive mess of things!!
"A little folly is a great blemish to him that has a reputation for wisdom and honor, and is as hurtful to him as dead flies are to sweet perfume. True wisdom will gain a man a reputation, which is like a box of precious ointment. The reputation that is gained by a great deal of wisdom, may be easily lost, by a little folly."
Hear and heed. One foolish act may tear down and destroy years of wise living. Keep your fly swatter handy. Keep the lid of your perfume sealed tight. Keep close to the One who is the fount of all true wisdom and understanding. "In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3).
By grace, may we fear God and fight off the foolish flies!!