Today’s Guest Post Writer – Greg Monaco: Greg has been in ministry with Youth for Christ since 1973 and is currently the Associate Field Director for YFC/USA in the Great Lakes Region. I first met Greg in 1987 when I was with Youth for Christ. Since that time he has been my ministry director, friend, counselor and performed the wedding ceremony for my lovely wife and I. Greg lives with his wife Gayle in the USA.
Today’s Reading: NUMBERS 27:1-28:31
When I was a kid, it was McDonald’s hamburgers. When I went to college it was Patchouli Oil and Sandalwood incense. When I was courting my wife, it was Shalimar. When we started our family it was Baby Powder. Today, its Ben Gay – just kidding!
Those are some of the scents that were pleasing to me over the years. When I would smell them, they would bring to mind pleasant memories, fond associations and loving relationships.
Today as we read in Numbers, beginning in chapter 28 we see the start of a long list of offerings to be presented up to God at different times. Two things repeated in describing every offering are that the offering is to be without defect and that the offering results in an aroma pleasing to God.
An offering with defect was an insult to God. He is our King, the Perfect One and he deserves a perfect offering. To knowingly bring a lame or defective animal or anything but the best of grains resulted in God refusing the offering (Genesis 4:1-7) or even punishing the one making the offering (Malachi 1:14)
But an acceptable offering gave off a pleasing aroma to God. The word translated here as “pleasing” is nikhoakh in Hebrew; it means rest or a state of calmness. This aroma is an odor arising from cooking, in this sense. In other words the smell of the cooking of the sacrifices brings a state of calmness to God.
It soothes God’s anger at human sin.
But the time of sacrifice is over. Christ on the cross gave the sacrifice that never needs to be repeated. His sacrifice provided the ultimate pleasing aroma to the Father.
But, though the time of sacrificial pleasing aroma is over, we can still “bring a state of calmness” to the heart of God.
2 Corinthians 2:14-16
In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse.
The sacrifice is complete, but in you the aroma continues to rise. Rejoice in that thought today.