When We Stink before God

March 9, 2012 at 10:10 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments
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Have you ever noticed that some odors are so strong that it’s like you can actually taste the thing you are smelling?

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The word for this characteristic is “savour.” We enjoy the savour of a delicious food.

smelling good food

It smells good, and tastes even better. We do not, however, like the savour of rotting food.

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It has the hint of something that used to be pleasant, but has turned to rot, and the taste is nauseating.

In Genesis 8:21 and Ephesians 5:2 the word “savour” is used for the first and last times in the Bible. In the first instance, Noah and his family have exited the ark after the world-wide flood, and the Lord acknowledges the smell of Noah’s burnt offerings.

And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

Genesis 8:21

As the Lord recognizes man’s sinful condition, and tells us that our hearts are completely depraved through-and-through from the time of our infancy, He nevertheless makes a gracious covenant never to destroy the earth with water again. God can never enjoy the smell or taste of sin. He is holy and pure, and He loves righteousness. However, being longsuffering, God chose for several centuries to delight in the sweet aroma of His Own grace, and to set aside the foul wrath-inducing odor of man’s iniquity.

If God was pleased with the sacrificial smell of Noah’s burnt beasts and birds, we can not even begin to imagine the great satisfaction (Isaiah 53:11) and pleasure (Isaiah 53:10) He must have taken in the greatest, most potent, and sweetest-smelling Sacrifice of all eternity.

And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

Ephesians 5:2

Jesus Christ, our mighty Savior, loved us enough to cover the wicked stench of all His people’s sins with the savour of His Own divine life-giving blood. Will we refuse to walk in a love such as this?

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  1. […] And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. […]

  2. […] the perfect concoction of spices, herbs, and oils, only to have the whole batch give off a disgusting odor because a miniscule, unobserved fly had landed in it and started to decompose? That’s what a […]

  3. […] hears prayers. He hears cries of injustice. He hears the plans of His enemies. He has the power of smell. Worship to Him is like a sweet-smelling savor. We don’t burn incense in New Testament worship […]

  4. […] that smell good are attractive – and they make people happy. The insight of a friend is the same way. “Hearty […]

  5. […] right away. “My hands reek of iniquity,” we think. “I must anoint them with the sweet-smelling scent of my own righteousness before I can attempt to do His will.” This can prove to be a costly […]

  6. […] (2) “Only” a little bit of pride will bring contention. In other words, the least little influence of pride makes a big stink. […]

  7. […] (2) “Only” a little bit of pride will bring contention. In other words, the least little influence of pride makes a big stink. […]

  8. […] There was the Table of the Bread of the Presence, which symbolized God’s fellowship with His people. In ancient customs – especially between the parties of a covenant – the eating of a meal signified honor, respect, and trust. There was a lampstand for light, and to represent God’s light in the world. There was the altar of incense, by which the people were reminded of the need to live lives that smelled pleasing to God. […]

  9. […] We are to look diligently for a root of bitterness, because such a root will hinder our relationship with God, and because, by it, many will be defiled. If we don’t look where we’re running, we might step in something and track it into the house of another believer, or worse, into the house of the Lord – the local church – and cause a big stink. […]

  10. […] took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; […]

  11. […] Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. […]

  12. […] the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; […]

  13. […] can’t talk, eyes that can’t see, ears that can’t hear, a nose that can’t smell, hands that can’t pick up anything, feet that can’t walk, and a throat with no sound. […]


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