His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as the cedars of Lebanon.
Fragrance is an interesting phenomenon. It can be pleasing, arousing, attracting, or incredibly repulsive; our sense of smell is often a great indicator of what we are about to deal with. The Bible talks about spiritual fragrance. It describes Christ with amazing aromas in Ps.45:7,8 “Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions; your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia”. In 2Cor. 2:15 Paul describes the aroma of believers, “For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.” Apparently, the fragrance of Christ is on us, we smell like Jesus. To those who are being attracted to Christ, that is a good thing. For those who are repulsed by Christ, we have the stink of death on us. Watchman Nee describes this fragrance in his comments on today’s verse.
“Hosea surely knew something of the scent of conifers. From Lebanon he paints us a picture of what the Christian life should be in its effect on others. The impression of Christ it gives should penetrate everywhere like pine fragrance. A man’s sense of smell is the most delicate of his senses. Through it he receives impressions of what is beyond reach of touch and even out of sight altogether. Nor need anything be said. For where there is fragrance, the effect is everywhere, pervading all. You cannot hide it. So does one whose roots are in Christ shed forth, like the cedar, a sweet savor of Him who is his unseen source of life. We carry with us the unassuming beauty of the Holy Spirit, as figured in the olive, and the effect is to make people aware only of a fragrant influence of Christ. He cannot be hid.”
I love that, the beauty of Christ is on us. We carry the sweet fragrance of Christ everywhere we go. The more we press into Him by reading our Bibles and spending time in worship, the stronger the effect becomes. So don’t be surprised the next time someone looks at you and says, “What’s that smell?”