And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2:11 ESV
When we KNOW GOD, we understand who He is and that HE KNOWS HIS CREATION. God has perfect knowledge, OMNISCIENCE, and God knows how we work: For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. (Psalm 103:14) When we look at the gifts that God had the three wise men give Jesus, at his incarnation in the manger, it is a reminder that god is about PURPOSIVE STRIVING. We serve a purposeful God, and everything has multiple layers of meaning, because our God is complex and beyond our comprehension. Then I saw all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. However much man may toil in seeking, he will not find it out. Even though a wise man claims to know, he cannot find it out. (Ecclesiastes 8:17) The three gifts have a meaning, many meanings. The three gifts had a spiritual meaning: gold as a symbol of kingship on earth, frankincense (an incense) as a symbol of deity, and myrrh (an embalming oil) as a symbol of death.
Leader, Dr. J. Vernon McGee makes this comment about the three gifts. Gold speaks of His birth. He is born a King. Frankincense speaks of the fragrance of His life. Myrrh speaks of His death. The gift of gold was considered worthy of a king. The buildings and treasures of kings and pharaohs from the ancient past have left reminders that gold was the prize of rulers and kings. Frankincense comes from tree resins. Frankincense was once greatly valued throughout the Middle East from Rome to India. It was expensive and has a wonderful fragrance. Myrrh is extruded from the gum of the Commiphora myrrh plant. Myrrh was used for a variety of purposes in biblical times as a perfume (Song of Solomon 1:13; 3:6; 4:6, 14; 5:1, 5, 13), an anesthetic, for burial embalming (John 19:39), as an ingredient in anointing oil (Exodus 30:23-25), and to deodorize clothes. I want to suggest that these gifts were all about an aroma, including the GOLD. Success has an aroma, the “Sweet Smell of Success” was coined by a US writer called Ernest Lehman. Showers and baths were rare in Jesus’ day, only the wealthy were able to clean regularly and thus they must have had a pleasing aroma.
Conduit, in the Old Testament, God commanded the priests of Israel to continually burn aromatic incense on the golden altar inside the Holy of Holies. I believe God had many reasons, it was not simply the fragrance itself that pleased God, but what it represented: the constant prayers of his people. In fact, the incense, associated with the people’s prayers, was so pure and sacredly sweet to God that any deviation from what God had explicitly commanded was met with SWIFT DEATH. Remember Nadab and Abihu, Aarons 2 oldest sons- see Leviticus 10:1–2. Scientists and psychologists maintain that exposure to a well-chosen scent can make us more productive. Denise Kohlmeyer in an article she wrote for desiringgod.composits that throughout the Bible, certain scents seem to hold specific meanings for God. While some delight him, others, unfortunately, cause him to recoil. She says there is the Aroma of Our Prayers, the Aroma of Our Repentance, the Aroma of Our Witness, and the Aroma of Our Love. Is your fragrance appealing to God and God’s chosen, or are you just ‘smelling yourself’? It has been said, “Odors are the garden of memories,” smell is directly connected to the brain’s limbic system – which deals with motions, memories, and arousal. How are you smelling to God, how are you smelling to others? God’s desire for us: Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. (2 Corinthians 2:15-16a) Today decide to do that which makes us SMELL WELL!