And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.”
After reading about Noah’s offering, we find this fascinating scripture. This is one of very few verses where we are given an insight into the very thoughts of God. Notice that this verse does not tell us what God said verbally to Noah, but what God “said in His heart.” The Hebrew literally means that God said this to His heart. After Noah’s sacrifice, God made the decision that He would never again destroy every living thing again in this manner.
God realized that restarting with Noah’s family would not purge the earth of evil. He recognized the reality of human nature and Satan’s influence—“the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” But at this point He resolved to never again destroy the people and creatures of the earth with a flood. Later He verbally communicated this to Noah as a covenant (Genesis 9:9-11). Bible prophecy reveals that He will intervene in human affairs to punish mankind for its sins (Revelation 15:1). But God’s future wrath will culminate in God saving humanity from itself (Matthew 24:22)—not destroying humanity with a flood.
This scripture is the first place where the word picture of prayers and sacrifices being a “soothing aroma” to God is used. Throughout the Bible, God likens the sacrifices and prayers of His people to a sweet smell in His nostrils. Essentially God is saying, “I love, cherish and enjoy the prayers of My servants.” We should never see our prayers as a waste of God’s time.
To learn more about how to pray to God, read “How to Talk to God.”
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “Meats Given for Food.”