When God created us, He gave us five basic senses: sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch. And each sense organ transmits information to our brains. Not only do we use our five senses to experience the world God has given to us, we use those same senses to experience God. Those five senses are a gift from God. We are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139. So, on this Friday afternoon let's take a look at these senses God has given to us.
The psalmist writes in 66:5, “Come and see what God has done, His awesome deeds for mankind.” Think about the colors of a sunrise or sunset. The rainbow after the storm. The thought of seeing a loved one after a time apart. Jesus spoke these words recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.” Jesus not only speaks of physical sight. He also speaks of our spiritual sight. Our lives can be full of challenges and struggle. What do we see when we face those times? Do we see the way God has made for us to find our way…or do we see only the darkness of the trouble in front of us? Moses was given the ability to see all the promised land from the top of Mount Nebo before he died. And the writer of Hebrews has this to say. “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of our faith. Hebrews 12:2.
Paul writes in Ephesians 5:2, “And walk humbly in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” In the Old Testament sacrifices were burned with incense, a smell pleasing to the Lord. If animal sacrifices were a pleasing scent to the Lord, imagine how pleasing the scent of Jesus sacrificing Himself so we could have a way back to God must have been. Think about the smell of rain, freshly baked cookies, the perfume, or cologne of a loved one. Paul also writes these words in 2 Corinthians 2:15, “For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” When we encounter people, do they smell Jesus in and on us? Because you and I are the sweet fragrance of Christ which rises up to God. There is the sweet and thick smell of Frankincense, a gift of the wise men for the Baby Jesus. There is the scent of nard as Mary broke the jar of nard and the scent filled the house. She used that nard to anoint Jesus before He was crucified.
We use our hands for many things. We hold the hand of a loved one or friend. People who are blind use their touch to navigate the world. They read with their hands. We work to the glory of God with our hands. Psalm 24:3-4 says, “Who may ascent the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false God.” Our hands can be used to bless God’s church. They can be used to serve those who have less than we do. Our hands can be used to give back to the Lord a portion of what He has given to us. Jesus used His hands to heal, bring people back to life and break bread and fish to feed thousands. We are His hands and feet in this world. How do we use them to bring Him glory?
I don’t even know where to start with food. There are so very many flavors, so much that satisfies and pleases. The writer of Ecclesiastes 3:13 writes this about the sense of taste. “That each of them may eat and drink and find satisfaction in all their toil…this is the gift of God.” Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses it saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” Salt was and is used to season food. Who among us doesn’t like the taste of salt on a hot French fry? It was also used to preserve food. We are salt in the world. We bring the seasoning of Jesus Christ to both those who believe and those who don’t. The psalmist writes, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.” While we sample and tase what God has to offer us, we are called to take that flavor into the world so others too might taste the goodness of the Lord.
With the sense of hearing we can listen to the glory of the Lord. Birds sing. We listen to music, both in church and outside of church. We get to hear the voices of those we love. We can hear the Word of the Lord read, preached, and taught. With our ears we hear the words, this is my body, broken for you. This is my blood shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus gave many their hearing back. And those who were blind could hear the crowd that traveled with Jesus coming. That gave them a chance to call out to Jesus, asking for healing. The prophet Isaiah writes these words about Jesus some 600 years before He comes. “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.” This is the promise of the healing Jesus would bring.
We have five senses. God has gifted us with them. We use them to experience the wonders He has created, the things God has created and given to us to enjoy. God has given us five senses so that we can experience Him in many different ways. God has given us five senses so that we might engage with others and introduce them to the Lord. What will you do with the five senses God has given to you?
In His grip
Pastor Matt W