After Noah and his family left the ark, Noah sacrificed some animals to the Lord.
Verse 21 says it was "a pleasing odor" to God, and the Amplified Bible adds that
it was "a scent of satisfaction to His heart."
Does God like the smell of blood? Does He like the smell of flesh in the fire?
Was that what was so satisfying to God? No. The thing that was pleasing to God
was that Noah prepared a sacrifice. Noah’s attitude toward God prompted him to
do what he thought would be pleasing to the Lord. It was a sign of relationship,
an act of gratitude.
This attitude was the thing that was pleasing to God. It was the thing that was
satisfying to His heart. Can’t you identify with that? If you have children, you
know how your heart aches when they are at odds with you. If there is any kind
of barrier in the relationship, it brings pain. On the other hand, when you see
your children making an effort to do what they believe will please you because
they love you or are grateful to you, it warms your heart.
I know with my own girls, it is the quality of their attitude, not their actual
performance, that determines my level of satisfaction. My older daughter is a
stickler for perfection and usually does things well, but she is prone to a
stubborn and rebellious attitude. She can sometimes do the "right" thing in a
very "wrong" way, and then we have to have a little talk about why she is
getting in trouble!
This is why Cain’s offering (in Genesis 4) was not "acceptable" to God. It’s not
that God likes roasted meat more than He likes roasted vegetables. It was all
about Cain’s attitude. Cain’s sacrifice wasn’t "pleasing" to God because there
was a problem with the relationship. Cain's rebellion was damaging to his
relationship with God, and God cares far more about our relationship with Him
than with any ritual sacrifice we can offer!
We don’t have a distant Creator. The Ruler of the Universe is not an all-
knowing, yet faraway Deity. Our God cares deeply about our relationship with
Him. What we do matters to Him. It affects Him. By our choices, we can touch
His very heart, either bringing Him pain or pleasure.
God is intimately connected to us, and He wants us to continue to have a
relationship with Him. That’s why He cares deeply about our attitude toward
Him. If we’re off track, He will confront us, as He did with Cain. And if we’re
living to please Him, He will let us know that He is pleased with us. As we
remember that, may we endeavor today—in all we say and do—to bring a scent
of satisfaction to His heart!