I love to walk and pray early in the mornings—usually with camera in hand. Several weeks ago I discovered a flower garden adjacent to some wooded paths I often walk. I enjoy all the plants and always smile at God’s happy colors; but my favorite is a salmon-peach-pink-with-a-touch-of-yellow floribunda rose called “Colorific”. It has an old-fashioned prettiness that glows when the early morning sun reaches it; but its invisible beauty is what pulls me—a wonderful fruity fragrance that reminds me of roses that grew around our patio when I was child.
Yesterday I cut my flower admiration time short though when the gardeners showed up to spray with who-knows-what. I crossed the creek back to the wooded trails and then an interesting thing happened over the next hour’s walk. Periodically I’d smell the roses I’d left behind on the other side of the creek—not a tiny I-think-I-just-got-whiff-of-that, but a strong repeated several-deep-breaths-worth of that wonderful fruity fragrance. I smiled—every single time.
Since 2014, I’ve been repeatedly reading through my Bible. Last month, I almost didn’t begin again at the beginning, but now I’m really glad I did. This is my fourth trip through its pages and God’s been honoring my request to show me things I’ve never noticed before.
I told Mason, age 10, last week that I’d just learned how God smells. His response was “REALLY? FOR REAL?”
Yep. In Chapter 30 of Exodus, God shares the recipe for his personal anointing oil and incense. Mason and I think it’s really cool that all the ingredients are readily available; and we’ve ordered them so we can smell for ourselves.
God’s Holy Anointing Oil Ingredients:
Myrrh – slightly earthy, black licorice scent
Cinnamon – sweet, spicy-hot scent
Calamus – buttery, nutty, soft and sweet scent
Cassia – pungent, warm, earthy, spicy scent
Olive oil – fresh cut grass
God’s Holy Incense Ingredients:
Resin droplets – aromatic fresh woodsy scent – sap from the balsam tree
Mollusk shell – mild, fresh scent (may instead be onycha – a combination of labdanum and benzoin – which produces the scent of Ambergris. In the OT the mollusk was an unclean animal)
Galbanum – musky, intense green scent
Frankincense – piney, lemony, sweet, woody scent
Blend the spices together and sprinkle them with salt. Grind into a very fine powder.
Now God very clearly spelled out to Moses that these blends were holy and to be reserved only for His use. They were for consecrating his wilderness Tabernacle and worship implements. He said that anyone who replicated them for personal use was to be cut off from the community.
I stopped reading at those words and pondered; and then I remembered the literal physical earth-shaking change that occurred when Jesus ripped the Temple curtain from top to bottom:
Time pivoted from the old to the new; and God offered his very own Holy Spirit to dwell within us in these faulty physical tents we inhabit. The Creator of the universe offered eternal intimacy to His creation.
I believe God is pleased when we want to know him better; and I can hardly wait to smell his favorite scent.