"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."
C. S. Lewis

Friday, April 5, 2013

On the Friday Reading from Genesis



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hen God spoke to Noah, saying, "Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth."

So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. Every animal, every creeping thing, every bird, and whatever creeps on the earth, according to their families, went out of the ark. Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 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. While the earth remains, seed-time and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease."
Genesis 8:15-21

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he Scripture says, “And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma,” that is, He accepted the offerings. Do not imagine that God has nostrils, since God is invisible spirit. Yet what is carried up from the altar is the odor and smoke from burning bodies, and nothing is more malodorous than such a smell. But that you may learn that God attends to the intention of the one offering the sacrifice and then accepts or rejects it, Scripture calls the odor and smoke a soothing aroma.
St. John Chrysostom, Against Judaizing Christians 1.7.3

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he Lord smelled not the odor of burning flesh or the smoke of the wood, but rather he looked out and saw the simplicity of heart with which Noah offered the sacrifice from all and on behalf of all. And his Lord spoke to him, as He desired that Noah hear, “Because of your righteousness, a remnant was preserved and did not perish in that flood that took place. And because your sacrifice that was from all flesh, I will never again bring a flood upon the earth.” God thus bound Himself beforehand by this promise so that even if mankind were constantly to follow the evil thought of their inclination, he would never again bring a flood upon them.
St. Ephrem the Syrian, Commentary on Genesis

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