The sweet savour which satisfies our Father
It never ceases to amaze me how the way we read is being changed as God reveals more and more truth. It began with clarifying the difference between literal reading of a text or spiritualising a text. It then progressed to further understanding the nature of the two great kingdoms which are at odds in this Great Controversy and on through the identity of Jesus Christ as the Literal Son of God, the light upon the Law and the covenants and finally the truth about the Character of God. So here I am thinking about the texts which speak of a “Sweat savour unto the Lord” as though God needed something from Man or was appeased by the taking of life like some Pagan deity whose wrath must be pacified by the spiling of blood.
Look at the following texts;
Genesis 8:21 (KJV Strong's) 21 And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
Exodus 29:18 (KJV Strong's) 18 And thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar: it is a burnt offering unto the Lord: it is a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the Lord.
However, if I view these texts in the LXX version I find that the term for sweet savour is G3744 ὀσμή osmē which is translated “fragrance” or “savour” and g2175. εὐωδία euōdia which is translated “sweet savour” or “sweet smelling”. This gives a clear indication that one is pleased with the smell of something and the obvious notion that attends this thinking is the idea that God is satisfied with the shedding of blood and appeased. However, look at what is written in the following texts;
Isaiah 66:1-4 Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? 2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. 3 He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. 4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.
Isaiah 1:11-18 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. 12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? 13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. 14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. 15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. 16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. 18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
It would appear that the sacrifices alone are not appealing to God and why should they be. Everytime a sacrifice is offered one of His creatures must die and God does not delight in the death of any of His creatures.
Let us look a little deeper then into the use of this term “savour” and we will find the following;
Paul, speaking in the following text, will begin the process of expansion
2 Corinthians 2:14-16 (KJV Strong's) 14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour (G3744) of his knowledge by us in every place. 15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: 16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
The “savour” here spoken of is a knowledge (ginosko which is Greek for “intimate knowledge of”) of Christ. Thus we are unto God a sweet savour of the intimate knowledge of Christ. We are not speaking here of the fragrance of something visible or earthly. There is no context or connection with literal sacrifices here but an understanding that the savour is a connection into the invisible and therefore the truth as it is in Jesus.
Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
The sweet savour is not associated with the physical sacrifice as my old covenant thoughts would imply but the savour is associated with the individual who sees in the sacrifice the Lamb of God which was slain from the foundation of the world. The mind leaves the present sacrifice before them and is drawn into the heavens (the invisible), there to connect with the true sacrifice and the true tabernacle not made with men’s hands and becomes heir of the true Jerusalem which is in heaven above. This gives our Father such joy to see His children make this connection and it is unto Him a sweet savour because He rejoices for us as we have understood that Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. For God is not willing that any should perish but that all should have eternal life. Now consider the following text;
Hebrews 11:4 (KJV Strong's)
4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
Abel’s sacrifice was accepted by God because Abel connected with the true sacrifice which was offered from the fall of man by promise. His submission to the law and his connection with the Lamb of God at the appointed time was a sweet savour to God for here was one of His children who had entered into the new covenant which is the only way into eternal Life.
2 Corinthians 4:3-7 (KJV Strong's) 3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
I see this last verse as a parallel to 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 for it identifies the rejection of the light by those who are evil as the same message is a savour of Death (for the Law killeth) unto death because the wicked have no joy in the Law for it is the revelation of the character of God and their carnal minds are enmity against this character (Romans8:7)
As verse 6 states that the “Father commands the light to shine in our hearts to (to add to) the light (which already exists) of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” means that our Father gives the knowledge of Christ to us as Light and when we connect with this knowledge through faith it becomes a sweet savour unto the Lord.
So if I connect this correctly, The sweet savour unto the Lord is the Joy of the Father as we connect with the new covenant experience in the sacrifice of Christ (the cross) which occurs when we are confronted with the law (for it is the law which brings us unto Christ Galatians 3:24) but of course this includes not only the moral law, it includes also the ceremonial law and thus is revealed the Gospel through the Law as a school master and the Father’s joy is to shine more light to what has already been accepted and connected with. So the sweet savour is not something that we give to God as though He needed anything but an expression of His joy in man’s connection with the great circuit of beneficence for He is the Great Source of all things.
To add to this is the following by-product of this joy which is for Him to breath upon us His spirit which is the new wine. Hence the entire system of sacrifices opens new doors of an ever deepening river of Love, Joy and peace which reveals the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But wait, there’s more :-). In verse 2Corinthians 2:14 we read that God “maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us”. That word is the Greek word “dia” meaning “by” or “through”, thus we become a channel through which the Father imparts the savour to others. Isn’t that just so amazing? Others can experience the knowledge of God in the face of Jesus through us!!! What beneficence, what a privilege.