Wednesday, July 6, 2011
I can’t say I know much about that phrase – I’ve heard it all my life and still do not understand how success can smell sweet – unless it is something as this pineapple upside down cake, which smells so good while it’s baking, and when it comes out of the oven. But then metaphors seem to escape my understanding.
What I do know is that I’m a sweet smell (no, not because of any soap I’m using!) The Bible tells me so:
For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: 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? For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. (2 Corinthians 2:15-17 KJV)
Of a certainty, in the sight of God I speak of Christ. I do so out of His word, hopefully directing my readers to check out what I type just to be certain that Bible says what I think it does.
It was easy for me to understand about “them that are saved,” for they will understand God’s word and be enriched by reading it. His word does not return void. (Yes, it’s a reference to scripture – look it up; you can find it.)
What I didn’t understand is how we could be a sweet smell unto God “in them that perish.” I’ve often felt a failing when one rejects Him and makes it blatantly apparent. A pastor’s wife recently wrote of a lost relative, one who derides family members’ beliefs and continually pricks at them openly in front of friends. This has gone on for years, with many witnessing to him of God’s love, to no avail.
To me, this has come to mean that our witnessing is sufficient to God. What we do is the sweet savour. How it is received is not within our grasp. Neither our will, nor God’s will, is imposed on another’s soul – it is theirs to offer to Him, or to hold selfishly as it withers. My responsibility is the same as all mankind’s – what I give to God, not what another gives.
Just as Cain was responsible for his sacrifice and his anger taken out on his brother, we should be prepared for resentment as a response. We should be prepared for derision – is this not what our Lord received from those to whom He was sent? Should we expect our reception to be any better than His?
We are told He is sufficient. We aren’t, but He is. He is worthy. The Bible tells me so, in Revelation 5.