A Sweet Smell To God


“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish” (II Corinthians 2:14,15).

“Sweet-smelling” denotes the ability of a substance to release an aroma that is attractive to the olfactory sense, making for a pleasant atmosphere. Much as the smell of perfume makes for an enjoyable physical atmosphere, there are multiple things that we are told are sweet-smelling to God in the spiritual realm.

The smoke of Noah’s sacrifice is called sweet. “And the LORD smelled a sweet savor; and the LORD said in His heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake” (Genesis 8:21). The Levitical burnt offering is said to be “a sweet savor, an offering made by fire unto the LORD” (Exodus 29:18). We further note: “Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor” (Ephesians 5:2). The saint’s prayer brings an odor like incense before the throne of God. “And when He had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints” (Revelation 5:8). The free will offering given is similarly pleasant to God. “But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God” (Philippians 4:18).

But God warns: “And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; . . . I will not smell the savor of your sweet odors” (Leviticus 26:27,31). Let us commit anew to live lives that will be a sweet savor in the presence of our God. DW