I recently came across a word art with a phrase from 2 Corinthians 2: “We are to God the pleasing aroma of Yeshua in the world.”
And that phrase – really just the word “aroma” – triggered a whole new revelation for me.
Go back to Genesis 27. Isaac had twin sons: Esau and Jacob. Esau was a manly man, a hunter. Jacob was more of a metrosexual, perhaps; certainly he had smoother skin and knew how to cook. Esau was the older, and destined to inherit his father’s blessing and the greater share of his father’s wealth, but he cared very little for that heritage. Esau was his father’s favorite, but Jacob was loved by his mother, who had a word from God about his destiny to rule.
In Genesis 27, Isaac decides it is time to give Esau his blessing. He called Esau to him and told him to bring him game to eat, so his heart would be ready to bless him. Rebekah overheard this and decided to deceive her husband so that Jacob would get the blessing instead. She had Jacob slaughter two goats, and cooked them, and put Esau’s clothes on him. Since Esau was a hairy man and Jacob was not, she took the goat skins and tied them to his arms and neck.
And Isaac felt the skins and ate the food and drew his son near to kiss him, and when he kissed him he blessed him, saying,
“Ah, the smell [aroma] of my son
is like the smell of a field
that the LORD has blessed.
28 May God give you heaven’s dew
and earth’s richness—
an abundance of grain and new wine.
29 May nations serve you
and peoples bow down to you.
Be lord over your brothers,
and may the sons of your mother bow down to you.
May those who curse you be cursed
and those who bless you be blessed.”
Now, my family always had a bit of fun with that first bit. Here’s Jacob. He’s wearing his brother’s cloak, so there is a smell of outdoors. He’s also been cooking, so he smells sweaty and greasy. However, he is wearing uncured goat skins. From hastily-slaughtered goats. And it’s hot out. The strongest smell on him has got to be putrefying blood and unwashed goat. And yet it smells like a meadow washed by dew.
We figure Isaac must have been a little crazy at this point :)
But. Here’s the cool revelation-y part. When I saw that phrase, about us being the aroma of Messiah, I saw Jacob. The younger son, who had never measured up and never could. Coming to his father, dripping with the blood of a lamb* to take the identity of the Beloved Son and receive the father’s blessing.
Sound like anyone you know?
I’d never seen this scene as a foreshadowing of Messiah, but it totally is. We come to God, covered in the blood of the Lamb, to take Yeshua’s identity and receive that blessing.
The cases are not exact, of course. Isaac was unaware of the deception, and Esau was murderously furious when he found out. In our case, God set this all up Himself and no deceit is needed. But it does encourage me.
After all, Jacob did NOTHING to deserve that blessing. He obeyed his mother and that was about it. But he was wearing the right clothes so he got it anyway.
In the same way, I have done and can do NOTHING to earn God’s blessings. Nothing I do makes a difference – no act of sin can take it away, no act of righteousness can make it stronger. I am wearing Yeshua’s clothes and Yeshua’s blood and that’s the end of it. I may as well relax and enjoy God for who He is.
(Also, this is my 100th post! I was going to do something appropriate, but am out of brilliant ideas. Maybe I’ll switch the blog to base 17 or something so there’s lots of time until the 100th post. That makes sense.)
* lamb, kid, whatever. It’s the same word in Hebrew, actually – the distinction is “lamb of the goats” vs “lamb of the sheep” – or, if you prefer, “kid of the goats” and “kid of the sheep” At any rate, it’s close enough to cover the stretch.
Update: I’ve noticed more than usual activity on this post, so I hope it’s blessing those who read it. If you would like to talk further privately, or if I can pray for you, please feel free to email me. My address is ladyphlogiston+blog@ [the email service google provides]