Sweet. This is a word that has recently gone through a metamorphosis of meaning. It used to mean, almost exclusively, something that was sugary, lucious or candied. But now it has taken on a somewhat different turn.
The Urban Dictionary now defines “sweet” as:
An intensive used to express satisfaction, acceptance, pleasure, excellence, exaltation, approval, awe, or reverence. When used individually, the level of satisfaction expressed is most often directly proportionate to the duration of the vowel sound.
“Mashed potatoes for dinner! Sweet.”
“I just won a million dollars? SWEEEEEEET!”
This week, I opened the window on the porch and immediately I was surrounded by the sweet aroma of honeysuckle combined with the knock-out roses beneath the window. I had seen the roses begin to bloom, but I lost track of time and did not expect to have such a wonderful surprise.
Sweet aroma – what a glorious gift. That was SWEEEEET!
Scripture talks of sweet aromas, in both the Old and New Testaments.
In the book of Genesis, God created the plants and trees, commanding the earth to bring forth vegetation, including plants yielding seed and fruit trees bearing fruit which contains their seed, each according to its kind. Genesis 1:11-12. The beautiful blooms and scents of the flowering plants are all part of God’s magnificent creation that evokes each of the senses, including sight and smell.
In the book of Exodus, God directs that “fragrant incense” be used in His Tabernacle. His worship was not to be unlovely or boring, notwithstanding the fact that they were in the wilderness. It was to include beautiful furnishings, draperies, clothing and golden ornaments; and I was to be bathed in fragrant incense.
The Psalmist talks of the sacrifices that he would bring to God, and says:
“I will offer You burnt sacrifices of fat animals, With the sweet aroma of rams; I will offer bulls with goats. Selah”
Psalm 66:15 NKJV
The Psalmist also says that the Lord wants our thoughts and meditations to be sweet:
“May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the LORD.”
I can have sweet meditations with the Lord only one way, when I am living in sweet communion with Him and have His Word in my heart.
“How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
The New Testament describes the sweet, fragrant offering that believers bring to God, through Jesus Christ:
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
Indeed, Paul tells, the Corinthians that we are the aroma of Christ to God and those around us:
“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing,”
2 Corinthians 2:14-15
Finally, we read of the Revelation of Jesus Christ to the Apostle John, the last book in the Holy Bible. There we read that the prayers of the saints on earth are brought to God with sweet incense:
“And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”
“And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel.”
Here we are told that the prayers of the saints was the incense that rose before God. Can you imagine the depth of the privilege of prayer? The prayers of sinners who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb constitute the very incense in the temple of our God. Have we been praying diligently for God’s kingdom and for His children?
So, Beloved, what kind of fragrance best describes you? I don’t mean what perfume, cologne or after shave you use. I mean, when you have an interaction with someone, what aroma do you leave with them? Is it the smell of anger, hate, distrust, complaint, dissatisfaction? Is it the stench of lies, abuse, deception, or arrogant pride?
Or is it the pleasing aroma that comes when the Spriit of God lives within the child of God? Is it the aroma of a loving, kind and encouraging spirit? Is it the sweet fragrance of God’s Word in action, giving aid to those in need and lending a hand to someone in pain?
What scent do you spread when you walk through your world?
What do you smell when I pass by?
I pray it is the sweet-smelling fragrance of a heart and soul given to the Lord Jesus Christ, living for Him in witness to His great salvation and atonement for the Children of God.
Father, I pray that which the Psalmist prayed so long ago, may my meditation be sweet to You, Father, and may I be glad in the LORD Jesus Christ, my Savior and my King.