Then he shall split it at its wings, but shall not divide it completely; and the priest shall burn it on the altar, on the wood that is on the fire. It is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord.
Americans are in a battle against foul odors. We bathe with perfumed soaps, spray with aromatic aerosols and gargle with spicy liquids—all in an effort not to offend those we meet. All this is acceptable and appreciated, but what does it take to make an aroma that smells good to God?
As Moses met with God in the tabernacle, the Lord laid out detailed instructions for the various sacrifices His people should follow. He assured Moses that fulfilling these instructions would result in a “sweet aroma to the Lord.” Obviously the odor of the burning sacrifice was not sweet. In fact, the smell of burning flesh and hair or feathers is rather offensive.
The sweetness came from the attitudes of the one offering the sacrifice: humility (admitting he or she is a sinner in need of a sacrifice) and obedience (offering an acceptable sacrifice as directed by God).
These same attitudes are still important for us. While we no longer sacrifice animals, Paul urges us to “present [our] bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is [our] reasonable service” (Rom. 12:1), Paul calls for us to humbly and obediently surrender our lives to God as our sacrifice to Him—not just a part of ourselves, but our whole body.
While the Old Testament sacrifice had no say in the matter, you and I do. As the Lord speaks to you about His will for your life, will you voluntarily place yourself upon the altar of sacrifice? Humbly acknowledge His ownership of all that you are and have. Obediently respond to His Word and His will. If you make such an offering, it will not fail to be a sweet aroma to the Lord.
IF YOU REALLY WANT TO PLEASE THE LORD, LET HIM GET A WHIFF OF YOUR OBEDIENCE.