The phrase “taste and see that the Lord is good” is a direct quote from verse 8 of Psalm 34. To see that God is good, watch the video at the end of this article. It’s short but inspiring, and it will fill your heart with joy and encourage your soul with hope. Before “seeing,” let’s do some “tasting.”
Psalm 34 is a song of thanksgiving in which David begins by praising God for His deliverance from fear and trouble (vs 4, 6). David then calls upon the people of Israel to remember that their God is both their Protector and Deliverer (vs 7). Next, comes…
Tasting and Seeing (vs 8)
In seventeen words, David instructs and encourages the people. First, he implores them to seek the Lord and to know His goodness (8a). Then David tells them that they will be blessed by trusting (8b). And of course, we know that trust is produced by knowing God’s goodness (8a).
Psalm 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
The words “Taste and see” are sensual and experiential. They are sensual in that they describe the actions of two of our God-given senses. Let’s explore this further.
How do we “taste and see” that the Lord is good? Before tasting anything, we must eat something. Before eating something, we must “see” the food. From the beginning, God gave man food to see and to eat (taste).
Genesis 2:9 And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.
Genesis 1:29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.”
Hunger for Food
Adam was created with a natural hunger for food, so God gave him the produce of the Garden to satisfy his hunger. God also created Adam with a spiritual hunger that only He could satisfy through an intimate relationship that included direct communication (God spoke directly to Adam). This relationship established Adam’s heart and fueled his works.
As Christians, we also are united to God in a personal relationship and we hunger to know Him better and to love Him more. However, before Adam sinned, he “saw” God in a way that we do not. Adam had clear “sight,” but we only see “dimly” while we remain on this earth.
1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
When our sight is clear, we will “taste” fully of the goodness of God and we will fully know Him.
Tasting Before Seeing
Psalm 34:8 clearly tells us to taste first and then to see His goodness. How do we “taste” of His goodness? I suggest it is by the water, milk, and meat of the Holy Scriptures. “Water, milk, and meat” are used in Scripture as word pictures for God’s Word.
John 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
John 4:13-14 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Milk and Meat
1 Corinthians 3:2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;
Hebrews 5:12-13 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.
Taste and See that the Lord is good.
All Christians, from the time of their new birth, are to hunger for the word. Peter likens this hunger to that of a newborn baby. A newborn baby does not need to be taught to hunger, to cry out for milk. The natural hunger is internally experienced and they make their voice heard.
As Christians, God expects that we are to hunger internally for His Word. Because His Word nourishes our souls, when we hunger, we are to cry out in desire and in need for the pure word and faithful teachings so that we will grow spiritually and so that we will “taste and see” the goodness and grace of our God.
1 Peter 2:2-3 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
Psalm 119:103 How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Tasting produces Seeing
Paul wrote to the Ephesian church about the importance of “tasting” the Word. In seeking knowledge of God comes wisdom and revelation. That “tasting” produces knowledge of Jesus that gives sight.
Ephesians 1:17-19 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened [sight]; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power
Taste and See that the Lord is Good
Watch this short video and renew your mind in the goodness of the Lord. Satisfy your hunger with His truths. Find rest and joy in His love. And enlighten your eyes to see Jesus, our only true Hope.
Taste of God’s goodness, see that He is Lord, and “know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory” (Eph 1:18). Enjoy!
Psalm 34 continues with…
David instructing the people of Israel about life in accordance with God’s will and ways (v 9-14).
Psa 34:9-15 Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him.
10 The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.
11 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12 Who is the man who desires life, And loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry.
Psalm 34 closes with…
David reminding them of what they “tasted and saw” — the Lord is good.
Psa 34:16-22 The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.
20 He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken.
21 Evil shall slay the wicked, And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned.
22 The LORD redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.
Do not be anxious about anything. (Phil 4:6)
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control. Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19. As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.”
Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it: Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live: Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.
God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble. When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19
Be Ready Always...
to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.
When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.
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