November 27 – To Smell

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November 27 – To Smell

The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.” (Genesis 8:21)

The priest shall take a handful of the flour and oil, together with all the incense, and burn this as a memorial portion on the altar, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord. (Leviticus 2:2)

Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. (Revelation 8:3-4)

Our sense of smell tells us a lot about things we’re going to encounter, from food to people to places and things.  I love the smell of lilacs in the spring or lilies on Easter Sunday morning. I used to work across the street from a barbecue restaurant and when they smoked their meat, my mouth began to salivate. The country has its own smells, rarely as attractive as those; from dead skunks to pig manure, you know you’re around farms. But, the scent of freshly mown grass, crops that are in the middle of harvest, and fields of clover all remind you of the beauty of the land.

For the Lord, the offerings of his people brought an aroma to Him that was pleasing. In the Old Testament, those various scents were released when burning on the altar.  It wasn't just the scent itself that was pleasing to the Lord, but the prayers that followed that scent into the throne room.

When Noah and his family opened the ark and released the animals into the world, the first thing they did was to build an altar and burn an offering to the Lord.  That scent was pleasing to Him.  When the children of the Exodus brought their sacrifices to the temple to be burned on the altar, the scent was pleasing because they were in obedience to His Law.

Long after the time of the Temple and burned sacrifice, our prayers are still before the Lord as a pleasing aroma. In Revelation we read that they lift up from the altar with incense as an offering.

The Lord is pleased when we pray and continue to build the relationship with Him that He wants to have with us.  Let our prayers be as an offering whose aroma is pleasing to the Lord.