Jerome

Oh, Taste and See That the Lord Is Good

Psalm 34 - Taste and See that the Lord is Good • Worship Arts Conservatory

The Lord, a Provider, and Deliverer. Fearful that Saul would kill him, David fled to Gath and sought the protection of the enemy (1 Sam. 21:10-22:2). But you are never safe out of the will of God, and David had to lie to escape. This psalm is David’s personal testimony of what God did for him.

“I will bless”  (Psalm 1-10). David had every reason to praise the Lord, for the Lord had rescued him from certain death. When you call on the Lord in faith,

He saves (Vv. 4-6), He keeps (v. 7), and He satisfies (Vv. 8-10). Why run to the enemy when you can run to the Lord and be safe? David writes this psalm for the spiritually immature, who need to be instructed in the ways of God.

One thing David thinks we need to know is how to live in a way that brings the blessing of God. How do we face hard times? When we hurt, we want to know: Have we done something wrong? Has God deserted us? What do we need to do to receive God’s help?

These are good questions. If we pay attention to David, we will get some answers. The center of the biblical mission in the Old Testament is found in the words taste and see. The task of Israel was to attract the nations to their God.

For their faithfulness to Him, God had promised to bless them abundantly, and when the nations saw this blessing they would see that the living God was with them. In the midst of a world of gods who were not good at all, there was one living God, and He was altogether good (Psalm 100:5). 

The psalmist invites others not to take his word, but to put the matter to the test for themselves. “Taste” is from the Hebrew “to try the flavor of,” here meaning, “to experience”. The surest proof of religion is found in personal experience.

Without Christian experience, the religion of Christ is only theory, and as a mere theory, it has no saving power. Taste is an important figure of speech in the Bible. Everywhere it’s used figuratively. Taste suggests full participation in and/or experience of the thing enjoyed.

Here, the invitation to “taste and see that the Lord is good” is a call to rely fully on Him and to experience the benefits of a personal relationship with God. Let any man in this spirit approach his Maker, and plead the promises that are suited to his case, and he will soon know whether the doctrine is of God.

He shall taste and then see, that the Lord is good and that the man is blessed who trusts in him. This is what is called experimental religion; the living, operative knowledge that a true believer has that he is passed from death unto life. 

The word “taste” here means properly to try the flavor of anything, to eat a little so as to ascertain what a thing is,… It is used here in the sense of making a trial of or testing by experience. The idea is, that by putting trust in God– by testing the comforts of religion– one would so thoroughly see or perceive the blessings of it– would have so much happiness in it– that he would be led to seek his happiness there all together…

If those who are in danger would look to him; if sinners would believe in him; if the afflicted would seek him; if the wretched would cast their cares on him; if they who have sought in vain for happiness in the world, would seek happiness in him– they would, one and all, so surely find what they need that they would renounce all else, and put their trust alone in God. 

You may have heard it said that a person does not really know who his friends are until the bottom drops out. I think there is great truth to that. All of us have experienced the pain of discovering that people we thought would be faithful – no matter what – were simply “fair-weather friends.” You know, friends whose loyalty hinges upon the climate or circumstances.

As long as the relationship is enjoyable, they are with you all the way. But when it begins to demand some sacrifice on their part, they are hard to find. The ultimate measure of friends is not where they stand in times of comfort and convenience, but where they stand in times of challenge and controversy.

That being the case, apart from the adversity of some kind, we would never know who our faithful friends really are. In the same way, we will never know in a personal way the faithfulness of Christ apart from adversity. As a result, our faith in Him would never increase. It would remain static.

One of the primary reasons God allows us to face adversity is so that He can demonstrate His faithfulness and in turn increase our faith. If you are a believer, you have made a decision to trust Christ with your eternal destiny. But you will not experience His faithfulness in that particular area until you die.

God wants more from you and for you than a simple intellectual acknowledgment of His faithfulness. It is His will that you experience it now. If our lives are free from pain, turmoil, and sorrow, our knowledge of God will remain purely academic. Our relationship with Him could be compared with that of a great-great-grandfather about whom we have heard stories, yet never met personally.

We would have great admiration, but. no intimacy, no fellowship. There would always be a sense of distance and mystery. That is not the kind of relationship God wants with His children. Through the death of Christ, God has opened the way for us to have direct access to Him.

He went to great lengths to clear the way so that nothing stands between Him and His children. There is potential now for intimacy between us and our Creator… God is in the process of engineering circumstances through which He can reveal Himself to each of us.

And both history, as well as our personal testimonies, bear witness to the fact that it is in times of adversity that we come to a greater realization of God’s incredible faithfulness to us. It assaults our pride to acknowledge that there are things we don’t know or problems we can’t overcome. But when we stop trying to do it ourselves, we are in a position to receive the help God sends. 

If we have gone through life trusting in our own judgment, we may find it hard to commit our will to God and his plan for us. But if we refuse to seek God’s help and direction, we may never know just how good he can be to us. He has the power and the wisdom we need to have victory in our struggles with sin and temptation.

When we look to the world, we are perplexed, and at a loss. But on looking to Christ depends our whole salvation, and all things needful… Those who trust to themselves, and think their own efforts sufficient for them, shall want; but they shall be fed who trust in the Lord. 

“Taste and see” does not mean, “Check out God’s credentials.” Instead, it is a warm invitation: “Try this; I know you’ll like it.” When we take that first step of obedience in following God, we cannot help discovering that he is good and kind. When we begin the Christian life, our knowledge of God is partial and incomplete. As we trust him daily, we experience how good he is. None is beyond the need for divine help. In the divine plan, self-sufficiency is impossible. Man needs God. 

David invites us to “taste” Jesus. He will be sweet and good. When we trust in Jesus and He has all of our confidence, we will benefit from His wonderful sweetness. He is a God of love, and that love is ready to be poured out on each of us. Ask God to pour out His love for you today. 

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