It's Time for a Smell Check
Topic: Worship Scripture: Genesis 8:20– :21
It’s Time for A Smell Check
In this series“Examine your face” we have talked a great deal about ourmouthsand how our words have the powerto bring about either life or death. We have talked about the importance of speaking those thingsthat are not as though they were. We have also talked about the eyesand how God intended us to experience pleasurewith our eyes through the lens of purity. Last week my wife talked about taking our thoughts captiveand that we have the ability to change those neurological pathwayswhich have been imbedded in our brains through our past experiences.
Today we want to focus on the Nose. The nose is similarto the other parts of the face in the fact that it reportswhat is breathed in, to the brain.
Your ability to smell comes from specialized sensory cells, called olfactory sensory neurons,which are found in a small patch of tissuehigh inside the nose. These cells connect directly to the brain. Each olfactory neuron has one odor receptorwhich helps the brain to recognize the smellas well as the intensityof that smell.
Just as your eyes can beholdthings that are appeasingto the senses, your nosecan smell things that bring a similar sensation.
(Example of lavendersmell, in Cabo San Lucas Mexico or the smell of a smokehouse)
In the case of the hotel, the aroma added to the relaxation, in the restaurant the smell added expectancyand delight to the dining experience. For the most part if foodsmells goodthen it will probably taste good.
Throughout the biblethere are references made to smell. Typically, a good smell or a pleasing aromawas the mark of an obedientperson. While a bad smellor stench was the mark of a disobedient person. ‘
20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.
The Lord was pleasedwith the smell of the offering that Noahhad offered up. It was an aroma of repentance; it was an aroma of worshipthat went up to the Lord and He accepted it.
As a result, God made Noah a promisethat he will never again strike down every living creature as He had done with the flood because Noah had offered up a pleasing sacrifice. Offering sacrifices back in those days were not only for the atonementof man’s sins but it was worship to God. In this case Noah offered the sacrifice to God as worship for having brought them safelythrough the storm and flood waters. It was a common form of worship.
When I see scriptures like this, I’m reminded of how God had made us in His imageand in His likeness. Just as we enjoy pleasant smells such as BBQ, in those days the Lord delightedin the aroma that these sacrifices would bring.
In the KJVthe word odouror savouris used instead of aroma. It means soothing,quieting, tranquillizing. It is found 43 timesin the old testament and it is always precededby the word “sweet”and usually followed by the phrase“unto the Lord.”
Our worship should be sweet, of a pure spiritand directed to the Lord.
While God delighted in Noah’ssacrifice, He vows to not receivethe pleasant aroma from the sacrifices of the Israeliteswho had given themselves to idolatry and paganpractices.
27 “But if in spite of this you will not listen to me, but walk contrary to me,
31 And I will lay your cities waste and will make your sanctuaries desolate, and I will not smell your pleasing aromas.
God vowsto not take delight in their sacrifices. Meaning the sacrifice that was intendedto be a pleasing aroma to God has now become a stenchto Him because of their continued disobedience.
We see an example of this in first Samuel 15 King Saulwas given orders by God to completely destroy the Amalekitesnot sparing anything or anyone. Saul partiallyobeyed but he kept all the good thingsfrom the spoil that he had gathered of the Amalekites.
He then offers some of the animals of the spoil, which were supposed to be destroyed, yet he offers them to the Lord as a sacrifice.
The prophet Samuel told King Saul,“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
Basically, Samuel tells king Saul that partial obedience is not obedience at all. It was because of this sinthat the kingdom of Israel would be strippedfrom the hands of Saul and given to his successor, David. In fact, the last verse of that chapter says this
And the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.
The Lord did not accept Saul’s sacrifice, it wasn’t a pleasing aromalike a sacrifice was intended to be, it was a stench because of his disobedience. It did not bring God delight, rather it brought regret. God regretted that He had made Saul king over Israel.
Notice how Saul totally abandoned the purposesof God for his life. God created Saul for that time, with the purpose of being Kingand ruling over God’s people. It was an incredible responsibilitywhich he had been entrusted.
But Saul ruins itbecause of his disobedienceand then pretendsto be doing the willof God by offering up a sacrifice hoping to gain the favorof the Lord, but his sacrifice was in vain as it was unacceptable to God.
Too often church peoplewill do the same thing. Church people try to cover up their sinby doing more good works. For their good works they are expecting God’s favorto be upon their life and that he would bless their mess. It is foolishto think that our good works will cover up the horrendous stench of our sin. That’s like trying to use cologneto cover up smelly gym clothes, or like trying to use potpourrito cover up a toilet filledwith brown substance.
You must first get rid of the crap, before your life can become a pleasing aroma. As long as the sweat remainson the gym clothes, and as long as there is crap still in the toilet, or as long as there is sin in the heart, your good works fall shortof covering up the foul stench that sin produces.
I want you to abhor your sinand to see it for what it really is. The bible says that Jesus did not sin, yet He became sinand that He bore it on his body. In other words, He was beaten so badlythat He did not even look humanit was a horrific sight. Just as His body was bloodyand cutup, and bruised and he was in distressHe was appallingto look at, oursins are ugly, disgustingand appallingfor God to behold.
Our sins are like a foul stench.
You think by doing good worksthat you’re offering a sweet aromato the Lord but rather they are outweighedby the stench of your sin.The Lord abhors it.
For Noah’s offering, the Lord pronounced a blessing. For Saul’s sinThe Lord tells Samuel that he regretsmaking Saul king. The Lord pronounces a curse instead of a blessing upon Saul.
For Israel’s sinthe Lord tells them, I will not smell your pleasing aromas.
I don’t know about you, but I want my life to be a pleasing aromaunto God. Meaning I want my life to be pleasing and not appalling to the Lord. We do this through worship and obedience.Paul further illustrates this aroma analogy.
2 Corinthians 2
14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?
Paul would say that we are the aroma of Christto God and that through Him we spread the fragranceof the knowledge of Him everywhere.
Notice our lives are still an aroma “to God.” But now we can add “of Christ”meaning we belong to Him because He has purchasedus with His blood.
Jesus was the perfect sacrifice, which did not just postpone our sinas the sacrifice of animals had done, but rather He paid for our sin in full onceand for all with His precious blood. His life was a pleasing aroma to the Fatherbecause of His obedience. He was obedient even to the cross.
To be the aroma of Christ to Godwould indicate we can live pleasing livesunto the Father not because of our own doing but because of what Christ has donefor us.
If we are of Him, then He is in usand those that we encountershould sense His fragranceupon our lives which indicate that we have been with Him.
We are totally dependenton our relationshipwith Christ for our lives to be a pleasingaroma to God.
Unfortunately, what often happens is that we become nose blindto His presence.
Nose blind-reduced sensitivity to things we repeatedly smell.
For example, I am told by my wifethat my truck smells bad. It may be the case. After all I workout at the gym get all sweaty then I hop right into my truck. I also cut grass here at the church then hop right into my truck. I pick up furniture and things for the thrift store and then hop right into my truck. However, if you ask me the truck smell fine.PerhapsI am nose blindto it.
Being nose blind simply means that you smell it all the timeyou become less sensitiveto it. Whereas if my wife gets inmy truck with me, she can pick up the foul odorimmediately.
What happens in our relationship with Christis that we get used to Him. We are no longer stirredin our spirit, his words do not prickour hearts anymore, we don’t feel sorrow for our sinanymore, we become insensitiveto his voice, we find ourselves in spiritually dry places, we fall out of lovewith Him. We become spiritually nose blind.
It is not His fault; He hasn’t changed so what has?
Maybe that is it, nothing has changed. The way you approach Godhas not changed. You still go to him when you find yourself in a mess, or you still go to Him when you do not have anywhere elseto go, or you still go to Him when you need somethingor when the bank account is low. But when was the last time you went to Himin your personal life just to worshipHim for who He is, just like Noahdid? When was the last time you went to His presence to give praiseto give thanks, give adorationor is it only about what He can do for you? When was the last time you were in aweof who He is?
We are totally relyingon our relationship with Christ, to be a pleasing aroma to God. As our relationshipwith Christ strengthensthen the stronger the fragranceof heaven will be upon your life, thus the more people around youwill be affected by that fragrance.
John 12 3 Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
Everyonein that room was affectedby the sweet aroma that came from the perfume. It was pure, it was fresh, it was expensiveit costMary something, but it was worship. It waspleasingto God the Son, Jesus.
It’s time for a smell check. Is your life a pleasing aroma to God or is it not?