Spice It Up!

Don’t you just love this time of year when once again we
start enjoying the smells and tastes of the season?  The scents of cinnamon and nutmeg fill the
air as pumpkin pies bake in the oven… the spicy aroma of chili simmering on the
stove…the sage and onion and herbs of turkey and stuffing roasting in the oven…the
delicious smells of a dozen different Christmas cookies wafting through the
house, filling us with that holiday feeling…
Umm, umm, umm!  I have a notoriously poor sense of smell when it
comes to smelling yucky things, but yummy—well, I am all about that!

My son-in-law Fernando enjoys taking a turn now and then
in the kitchen, cooking us an authentic Ecuadorian meal.  He learned to cook from his grandmother and mother.  They do not use convenience foods like we do
here in the USA.  Everything is made from
scratch.  It has been interesting to me
to see Fernando’s use of fresh herbs and spices.  When I (infrequently) use those things in my cooking,
they come straight out of the little jars in my spice cabinet.  Fernando chops up fresh chives, rosemary, cilantro,
etc. for his dishes—a delight to the senses, I have to admit.

Spices were greatly treasured in Bible times.  II Chronicles 32:27 tells us, “And Hezekiah had exceeding much
riches and honour: and he made himself treasuries for silver, and for gold, and
for precious stones, and for spices,
and for shields, and for all manner of pleasant jewels;” 
Isaiah adds, “And Hezekiah was glad of them, and shewed
them the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and
all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures: there was
nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed them not.

(Isaiah 39:2)  The Queen of Sheba brought
many riches to Solomon, among them a wealth of spices.  “And
she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious
stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon.”
Kings 10:10)

Spices were important for
both their taste and their smell.  The Lord
was very specific in directing the Israelites in which spices to use in the tabernacle/temple
for anointing oil and incense.  They used
spices for burial as well.  Remember the
women who were going with spices to Jesus’ tomb to anoint his body when they discovered
He was not there, but risen from the dead?

I suppose we think of sight
and hearing as our most important senses, but apparently to the Lord the sense of
smell ranks right up there with them!  I
always tease my sister Cheree about how important smell is to her.  She loves scented candles and potpourri, good-smelling
lotions and potions and toiletries, etc.  We laugh at ourselves when we buy candles.  Somehow we always come home with the ones that
smell like food!  I choose my laundry detergent, fabric softener
sheets and air fresheners for which scent I like the best.  Even our window and floor cleaners come in a variety
of scents!

The Lord wants us to be sweet-smelling for Him.  I am not just speaking about our physical scent
– the cologne we wear, or shampoo and lotions we use, but the aroma of how we
live our lives before Him and others.  Ephesians
5:2 says, 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 sweet
smelling savour.” 
As Christ’s life and sacrificial death was a sweet savor to the
Father, our lives should be the same to our fellow believers and also to the unsaved
around us—a testimony that is a sweet blessing to them and to our Lord.  “For we
are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are
saved, and in them that perish:”
(Ephesians 5:2)

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