After the flood, Noah built an altar to the Lord. He took some of the clean animals, sacrificing them to the Lord.
21 The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.
It was basically a barbecue. A barbecue with the Lord. Do you ever wonder in what sense the aroma was pleasing to the Lord? I doubt the God of the universe thinks of smell in terms of spices and seasonings.......maybe he likes a little lemon pepper..idk. ....but he did like smell for some reason. Otherwise he wouldn't have made it. But does God like the smell of skunks and lavender equally? There is an obvious use of smell in these Biblical passages to help us as human beings relate...We know what smells good (Baked bread) and what smells bad (pull my finger). So God uses a concept we can relate to and understand......there are good smells and bad ones. You don't have to be a scientist to know the difference
........Its fairly obvious the attitude of the heart was most important to him. Their hearts smelled good. Weird right? Noah and his family were thankful, and that pleased the Lord. So why the scent reference? Why even make mention of the aroma? Is it just for our benefit to better understand?
Well, I have a little theory on that. Have you ever been grilling out.....steaks lets say. The fat sizzling. The char and smoke and wonderful smell of roasted meat. Your mouth begins to water.....We've all been there right?
How many of you.....primed for a taste.....excited....anticipating.....stomach growling.... have taken a taste and found that wonderful T-Bone tasted like CRAP? Really. I haven't. There may be extreme examples you point to but generally that steak tastes as good as it smells. Period.
Now what does that say about our sacrificial, grateful hearts? Maybe like grilling the steaks, God gets even more excited about what he can expect from our lives devoted to him. Once he starts getting a little smell of our thankful hearts he anticipates what the consummation (taste) of our lives may be. If I know God is excited about what kind of a man I may become, I am encouraged to be that man.
We miss out on the scent imagery that is so deeply embedded in the sacrificial language of the Bible because none of us have ever sacrificed a burnt offering. If we agree the imagery is important, how can we reinvigorate it? Maybe when we grill out for Memorial day or the 4th. or for any reason whatsoever....to grasp this connection....we can think of our barbecue offering. Not burnt offering....but barbecue. We can still today come to him with the same contrition. We can still be grateful. Whatever we do we ought to come to him with that type of thankfulness.