A Pleasing Aroma To The Lord

My wife occasionally lights a scented candle to fill the house with a refreshing and pleasing fragrance. The Bible also talks about a different kind of aroma that’s pleasing to the Lord.

Give these instructions to the people of Israel: The offerings you present as special gifts are a pleasing aroma to me; they are my food. Numbers 28:2

Years ago, a man attending our church would rather give to a project than help with it. His typical comment went like this: “I don’t have the time. How much money do you need?”

Sometimes, those projects needed more manpower than money. What I am getting around to is, for some it’s easier to give an offering than to give their time.

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And in today’s world, with bill-pay, you don’t even have to show up. Let’s compare how we give offerings with the offerings God required in the Old Testament. Those offerings alone took work.

God wanted animal offerings. Therefore, raising the sheep they offered to the Lord didn’t give off a very pleasing aroma. Plus, God expected these offerings given at specified times.

See to it that they are brought at the appointed times and offered according to my instructions. Numbers 28:2

Let’s look at those two things: the appointed times and God’s instructions. In my calculations, the Lord expected the sacrifice of about 1246 animals for the entire year.

Sacrifices Required by the Lord

  • He wanted sacrifices each Sabbath day and the first day of each month.
  • He also wanted them at the Lord’s Passover, the Festival of Harvest, and the Festival of Trumpets.
  • In addition, He expected offerings for the Day of Atonement and the Festival of Shelters.

After the priest killed each animal, he drained the blood and offered it to the Lord. Then he burned some of its parts or the whole animal on the altar.

The Lord considered the smoke from the burning sacrifice a pleasing aroma as it rose into the sky. God said these offerings would continue even after entering the promised land.

The Lord said, “When you finally settle in the land I am giving you, you will offer special gifts as a pleasing aroma to the Lord. These gifts may take the form of a burnt offering, a sacrifice to fulfill a vow, a voluntary offering. Or an offering at any of your annual festivals. They may be taken from your herds of cattle or your flocks of sheep and goats. Numbers 15:2-3

The Psalmist wrote about a time when he fulfilled the sacred vows he made to the Lord. These were vows he made when he faced deep trouble.

That is why I am sacrificing burnt offerings to you Lord—the best of my rams as a pleasing aroma. And a sacrifice of bulls and male goats. Psalm 66:15

Did you notice what type of offering the Psalmist brought to the Lord? He said, the best of his rams. Each animal had to be in a certain age range and healthy with no defects.

God Gives Grace To The Humble
Pleasing Aroma To The Lord

What Do We Offer to the Lord?

How often does that happen in the church? I’m not talking about a healthy animal. I’m talking about people giving their best to God.

I’ve had people buy new furniture and want to give their old, worn-out furniture to the church. But then the Bible doesn’t say anything about a couch of a certain age and without defects.

Of course, I’m being facetious. God gave Moses specific instructions as to the age and quality of their sacrifices. The Lord only accepted them, and they gave Him an aroma pleasing.

Present to the Lord as your daily burnt offering. You must offer two one-year-old male lambs with no defects. The regular burnt offering instituted at Mount Sinai as a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the Lord. Numbers 28:3,6

I’m not thrilled with its smell or smoke if I burn a burger or other meat on the grill. Why would the scent rising from the burning flesh of an animal be a pleasing aroma to the Lord?

The animals sacrificed in the Old Testament couldn’t cleanse anyone’s sins. God continually required them because the shedding of their blood served only as a reminder of their sins.

But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Hebrews 10:3-4

It’s God’s will for us to be holy, and that couldn’t happen with the sacrifices of the old covenant. Jesus, however, became the acceptable sacrifice for us.

Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him. Hebrews 9:28

The story of Lazarus

Jesus Became a Pleasing Aroma to the Lord

When Jesus hung on the cross before He died, He uttered three very important words. “It Is Finished,” The Apostle Paul told us how it pleased God in heaven.

Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to the Lord. Ephesians 5:2

Can we offer an aroma of sacrifice pleasing to the Lord? I don’t know about a pleasing aroma, but we can offer the Lord a continual sacrifice of praise.

Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. Hebrews 13:15

We have talked about the sacrifices in the Old Testament, the sacrifice of Jesus, and our sacrifice of praise. The Lord also considers one other sacrifice as one with a pleasing aroma. YOU!

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Romans 12:1

Lord, thank you for Jesus offering himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to you. And Lord, receive us as a living sacrifice so that we, too, become a pleasing aroma to you.

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