by Whit Sasser

God’s design of the sense of smell is a wonder to experience and ponder. Who hasn’t experienced the sheer joy of smelling honeysuckle, freshly cut grass, brewing coffee, and hundreds of others similar? Some folks like the smell of gasoline, a new car interior, cigarettes (if a smoker), and such like. And then there is the billion-dollar business of perfumes and colognes. All of this is just to say, how much a blessing it is to smell.

And just think of how God has given scents to millions of different things for the nose to smell and then distinguish. Amazing, too. Some smells are odorous, repulsive, and almost sickening. This is a blessing, too. A decomposing body smells terrible (John 11:39). This is good. We need to go bury it. The smells of our bodies excrement need to be buried or removed to somewhere else. Certain gases are poisonous … “Quick, call the gas company!”

But, let us ponder smell briefly. How does it work? I read this description

"Lining the tiny bones inside the nose are millions of olfactory sensory neurons that actually detect odor chemicals in the air. And they accomplish this feat using a mechanism, which is equal parts complex, simple, and random. Each olfactory neuron makes proteins called odorant receptors, which are transported into long hair-like structures called cilia found at the upper tip of each neuron. When an odorant enters the nose, it diffuses into a layer of mucus and binds to an odorant receptor on the cilia. This interaction kickstarts a cellular chain-reaction that eventually results in the generation of an electrical signal called an action potential. This electrical signal runs along the olfactory neuron’s cable wiring — technically known as its axon — and finally reaches the brain."

Ok. I do not understand that, but it is indeed impressive … to put it mildly.

"And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, I will never again curse the ground because of man" (Genesis 8:21).

"And he shall take from it a handful of the fine flour and oil, with all of its frankincense, and the priest shall burn this as its memorial portion on the altar, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the LORD" (Leviticus 2:2).

God loves sweet-smelling aromas, and so do we who are made in His image.

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