Psalm 34: 8 Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
I can’t say that I am the most adventurous eater. My German heritage taught me that there were three basic spices for cooking: salt, pepper and paprika, and really those should suffice for 90% of cooking. So, when I dated my wife and went to her parent’s house and was served sweet and sour chicken balls, my love for her was being tested early on in our relationship. She would say: “try some, you might like it”.
As an endurance athlete, travelling to different places with different athletes, it would often include trying new foods. Being somewhat narrow-minded in my food preferences it often began with a cautious glance but fortunately my parents taught me not to be rude and to try things. What I found over the years is that there was a new world of spices out there, new combinations of flavors. I just needed to taste and see.
In today’s scripture, the psalmist David encourages the readers to: “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” (Psalm 34:8). The entire chapter of Psalm 34 is an acrostic poem. Written in Hebrew, each line/verse begins with a different letter arranged in alphabetical order. The theme of this poem is God’s care for his people. In verse 8 David invites the readers to both taste and see. We can’t see and perceive until we first taste. You can look at food all day long and you can assume how it tastes, but there is no way to find out unless we actually take a bite.
How does this look practically to us? If you have never accepted Jesus into your life, he is waiting to enter. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. (Revelations 3:20). If you recognize that you are a sinner (Romans 3:23), that this sin separates you from God (Romans 6:23), that Jesus is the only way to God (John 14:6), and that you become a child of God by simply accepting him into your heart (John 1:12) and not by earning your way in, then you are being invited to taste and see that he is good.
If you are already a Christian but you are not sensing the peace and joy that you perhaps once had, God is inviting you to once again taste and see that he is good. God never promises us a life with no pain, a life with no bumps in the road; in fact, if anything he promises us that we will face such adversity (John 15:20, 2 Timothy 3:12, 1 Peter 4:12).
God’s peace and joy don’t come from an absence of struggle in our life, they come because we choose to dig deeper into him through those trials. In those times he invites us: 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11: 28-30). God offers to come alongside you and to join you in carrying your loads and thus making those burdens much lighter. He encourages us saying: 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7). Taste and see that the Lord is good. He is very good!