What is that Scent?
Take a moment and recall times when you have been able to recognize something or someone by its scent. Has your partner or spouse ever walked in the house and the scent of sweat lets you know they have been working out? Or the scent that follows children after a hard core playing session outside? They smell like little wet puppies right? What about the conglomerate of scents on a Thanksgiving morning that let’s you know exactly what’s on the menu. As a mom, I have become skilled in smelling the scent of urine from a mile away! “Elliott, did you miss the toilet again?!” Or, have you ever been to a city and the scent of air pollution almost makes you dizzy? What about the scent of a newborn baby? Delightful!
Speaking of babies, I am amazed at how babies can recognize the scent of their mommies as soon as they are born. They have literally learned their mommies’ scent from the inside out. Babies also have a keen awareness of the scent of their mother’s milk, which triggers the feeding & eating hormones and reflexes in both mom and baby.
The Bible gives several references to the importance of scent. In Genesis 27:27, Rebekah tricked Isaac into getting his father’s blessings by dressing Jacob in his brother’s clothing and placing goatskins on his body in various places to resemble the hairiness of his brother, Esau. In those days, the first born son received his father’s blessings. Consequently, when Jacob went in to bring his father Isaac some food, he smelled the scent of Esau and felt the “hair” on his neck and hands and blessed whom he thought was Esau. In verse 27-28, Isaac says, “Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed. May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness-an abundance of grain and new wine.” Isaac the father recognized and was comforted by just the mere scent of his son.
So it is with us, God is pleased by the scent of his children. 2 Corinthians 2: 14 (NIV) says, “But thanks to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.” Also in Ephesians 5: 1-2 (NIV), the Bible says, “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” There are many more references in the Bible to scents like these scriptures, to include pleasant and unpleasant scents received by God based on our actions. God uses the sense of smell as a metaphor to the aroma of worship, genuine sacrifice and connection to His Spirit. God wants us to smell like his children. He wants our worship to Him to be pure and genuine in order to send up a sweet aroma to His nostrils.
In Biblical history oils, spices, and herbs were valuable, precious gifts and substances of healing and sacrifice. These were the first essential oils that have grown in popularity in today’s society. Essential oils release powerful scents that have many health and wellness benefits. When I think of the origination of scent in the Bible, I think of God’s master design of creating the most expeditious method of receiving the benefits or harm from a substance…through inhalation.
Take some time today to just….inhale. Breathe in the pleasant scent of spring flowers, the healing scent of lavender or eucalyptus spearmint. Inhale the scent of spices used in a good meal or the scent of a newborn baby. Then evaluate your own fragrance from God’s perspective. Do you smell like His child? Does your worship and service to mankind give the aroma of Christ? After all, your scent is the most accurate, uninhibited communication with God. What does your smell say about you? Sniff, sniff…