Tasting the Lord – A Personal Challenge

by Brad Jolly

“Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!”   Psalm 34:8

As I have read over this verse numerous times recently, I think I am beginning to understand it in a way that the psalmist wants me to. Those words, “taste and see” intrigue me. What does the psalmist mean by this?

Read it carefully with me:

“Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!”.

The psalmist, which in this case is David, is not just making a simple statement of his opinion that the Lord is good; he is inviting us to a test. A taste test in this case. I’m sure you can recall a time in your own kitchen, or possibly sitting in a restaurant somewhere, where a spouse or close friend has said, “Oh, you’ve got to taste this!” And then they offer you a bite of whatever they are eating. So why are they inviting you to sample what they are having to eat? Well, they want you to share in their same enjoyable experience. This is a very personal appeal. It’s a very intimate request in a manner of speaking. It’s a testimony of confidence that you are going to agree with them about how good this food tastes. And then when you do, you both will share in this great experience together.

So, David, who has a close, intimate relationship with God, and has experienced God’s goodness in all the ups and downs of his life, has come to a conclusion: the Lord is good. He is calling out to us with a challenging appeal: “Hey, don’t just take my word for it, try Him for yourself”. He is challenging each and every one of us who read these words of Scripture to find out for ourselves that God is not only good to David, but God is equally good to each of us individually.

So how would we come to the same conclusion as the psalmist has, that God is personally good to you and me? Is God going to reveal Himself to be good to us in a personal way? This is an interesting challenge, isn’t it?  Think about it with me: God, through David, is not actually asking you to walk in blind faith; rather, to come to Him and see (or “taste” as the psalmist says) that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do.

Does God need to prove Himself to you and me about his goodness? Certainly not! But this is not a science lab kind of proof. This is a personal appeal by God to us individually, you see, that we can and will enjoy Him in a personal and intimate kind of fellowship.  To illustrate this better, let’s say that you met a stranger, who you discovered had a deep need that you knew you could meet. This stranger, though, was leery of you because they didn’t know you personally and weren’t certain about your genuine desire and true ability to help them.  Even though you try to convince them that you care and can really help them, the stranger is leery to trust anyone that offers help.  The scars run deep and the hurt is very painful for them.  But what if you had a close personal friend who testifies how you had helped them in the past.  Maybe the stranger is more likely to listen to your offer because of your friend’s personal testimony.  This is what David is.  He is God’s friend who can personally testify of his own experience with God’s goodness.

So, what do you say? Let’s do our own taste test of God’s goodness and find out why the psalmist is so confident that we will discover the same conclusion he has found.  So come back to read next week’s blog post as we take the psalmist’s challenge.