I was a foolish young bride who listened to the un-wise counsel of those who advised, “Hide your dishes in the oven, away from your guests.”
I had just finished spreading the dough for our pizza when the doorbell rang. Michael got up to answer while I tidied up the kitchen. Grabbing all of the dishes I could find, I threw them into the oven (ditsy Little Darlene!). It seemed like a good idea at the time since my cupboards were sparking clean in less than 40 seconds flat.
“Hello,” I smiled as our guests walked into the room, “dinner will be ready in about 20 minutes.”
Enjoying the company in my kitchen, I finished layering the pizza, while my darling groom poured some drinks for the guests. “Done,” I announced, setting the oven to heat at 425, “let’s go sit down in the other room.”
About 10 minutes later, our guests were standing outside on the back steps gasping for air while my husband did damage control in the kitchen. Every few seconds a melted bowl or two flew by my red face landing in the grass of our postage stamp yard.
Thus marked the early years of marriage. My mom on the other hand--married for over forty years--usually has the smell of a pie in the oven or a roast that greets us the moment we walk in the door.
Our lives are much the same as these ovens, as we live out our sacrifice each day—one with a stench in the stove, and the other a sweet aroma to her Lord. We can pretend that we’re this, or we’re that, but the aroma of our life is unmistakable to God.
Abel wanting to be washed clean brought a sin offering to God from his flock, while his brother Cain on the other hand brought a tithe offering of the fruit from his gardens (Genesis 4:1-5). In essence, Cain was hiding his “dirty dishes” in the oven rather than taking them to the Lord to be washed as a symbol of his faith in the coming atonement. The Bible says that God had no respect for Cain or his offering.
When we live a life that is pleasing to Him as Abel did, we show faith in the atonement of Christ, becoming that sweet aroma that He talks about in 1 Corinthians 2:15: "For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish."
Mmmm… Something smells good…