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The Pleasing Aroma

“The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma” (Genesis 8:21).

The first thing Noah does when he leaves the ark is give thanks to God. Wouldn’t you think he would at least have stopped to build a fire and cook a meal? No, this man knows how to put first things first.

It is God’s will that we give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18). This is because giving thanks means we recognize reality. We recognize the undergirding of God and presence of God in the midst of life and His control over the affairs of life. You cannot give thanks without recognizing the situation as it really is.

In Romans 1, God’s charge against a false and godless world is that although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him (Romans 1:21). People today do not hesitate to thank someone for a gift or an act of kindness, but they find no time to stop and give thanks to the God upon whom their life depends.

But Noah built an altar, and he gave thanks to God for His deliverance. We read that Noah’s thanksgiving was a sweet savor in the nostrils of God. God delights in our thanksgiving and praise.

—Ray Stedman, condensed