You can enjoy a good smell. I remember sweet and spicy sewage smells of China, the mixture of steamed hot dogs and bus exhaust in New York City, the salty ocean of Virginia, campfires in West Virginia, and a great barbecue cook-out in Custer. Now it is a joy to smell the flowery air in central South Dakota! You can’t help but open your window or walk down the street and take in the heady, rich, and fragrant aromas of the abundant apple blossoms and lilacs. A smell is a powerful thing, and you can enjoy a good smell.
Scientists explain to us that smell is a chemical reaction. When we detect a smell in our noses, chemo-receptors are stimulated and pass on electrical impulses to our brains. The brain then sorts out that information and puts it into categories that we understand as smell. Then the smells trigger emotions and memories; that’s why I feel good when I remember the smell of my great-grandmother’s baking or have a gag reflex when I think back to a particularly messy diaper I changed. A smell is a powerful thing.
The Lord enjoys a good smell as well. In Genesis 8, after the flood, 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. When the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, He said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man.” In Exodus 29, when God was establishing temple worship and consecrating the priests, the Israelites sacrificed animals, “and it was a pleasing aroma onto the Lord.” This phrase is often repeated throughout Leviticus and Numbers, as the people worshiped through sacrifices and offerings. It was all a pleasing aroma to the Lord. A smell is a powerful thing. The Lord enjoys a good smell.
Paul writes of believers and followers of Jesus as smelling good onto the Lord as well, in 2 Corinthians 2:14-16. “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. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?” When we live for Christ and share the good news of His death and resurrection and new life in Him, we smell good to God, and others who hear our message. A smell is a powerful thing.
Amidst the fragrant scents of South Dakota, of flowers and hay, and cattle and fish, how do you smell today? Do you smell good for Christ? Do other people smell Christ in you? A smell is a powerful thing. You can enjoy a good smell. The Lord enjoys your scent of Him when you smell good of Christ to others.