Who doesn’t love the smell of a barbeque. The first thing we need to know is that these sacrifices were no outdoor picnic—we’re talking total fleshly consumption. Have you ever experienced the smell of burning tissue, skin, hair, and bones? At best it is a putrid odor. But yet the Lord finds this aroma sensorially pleasing. How come?
Generally speaking, the Lord delights in our offerings; that we might give back that which we freely received from Him. In many ways it reminds me of how I would borrow money from my dad on his birthday so I could turn around and buy him a present. Dad wasn’t disappointed, but legitimately content with my pitiful gesture. If this is true of our earthly fathers, how much more so must it be true of our Heavenly Father?
But its Bigger Then That
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. Romans 7:18
This is really all about dying to self for in these sacrifices God sees an expression of His children putting their flesh to death. Why is this pleasing to God? Because nothing good dwells in our flesh and to the degree we die to it is to the degree we see God face to face.
But Didn’t God Say…
“You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” Exodus 33:20
God did say that and we need to stop looking at that verse in a negative light. The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain, ” because he fully understood the implications—Paul desired nothing more than to be in God’s full presence and understood that it begins (on earth) when we allow our flesh to pass away. Its worth repeating, “To the degree we die is to the degree we will experience God’s glory here on earth.”
But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God–and righteousness and sanctification and redemption–that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:27-31
For the most part, we seek the gifts of God rather than His glory and that’s okay to a certain extent. God loves us so much, He is more than willing to give us the things we ask for. But spiritually speaking, that’s just a leaping-off point. What pleases Him most is when we unselfishly give up those things, even to the point of physical death.