It happens with the change of every season. Right now the cold air carries the smell of wood fires from all the hearths in the neighbors’ houses. And isn’t it odd that on winter mornings the aroma of bacon can travel for hundreds of yards when it won’t any other time of year? Soon the smells will change to jasmine, gardenia, and other heavily scented tropical flowers, and the air, while still cool, will gain a little weight in the morning from fog. Then summer will carry the smell of new-mown grass, afternoon rain blowing in on humid breezes from the west, and all too often the chicken farm a mile down the highway. Finally, the air will begin to crisp and the fires will come from leaf piles and field burns, a less pleasant odor than the wood fires, which will once again permeate the air soon after.
Aromas mean a lot to God as well. He told his people several times that when they offered acceptable sacrifices the “sweet savor” of their offerings pleased him (e.g., Ex 29:18; Lev 1:9;Ezra 6:10). Ezekiel told them that God would “accept them as a sweet savor” when they returned from exile, a penitent and purified nation, (Ezek 20:39-44). On the other hand, He used a reeking garbage dump in the valley of Hinnom, where even the bodies of the dead were often thrown, to symbolize the punishment He had in store for the faithless (Isa 66:24; Jer 7:31-34).
They say that certain smells can energize you, calm you, lift your spirits, ease your tensions, and just about anything else you can imagine. God has used our sense of smell and the power it has to conjure up thoughts to symbolize the pleasure He has in our gifts to Him, the fear we should have in displeasing Him, and the grace He offers to such weak, sinful creatures as us, who deserve nothing but His disapproval. Take a good whiff and see what you can smell this morning.
Be ye therefore imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for an odor of a sweet smell, Eph 5:1,2.