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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Graber

Taste & See

When my daughter was little, she was a picky eater. Many times, Boo wouldn't even taste new foods when we went out to eat. I would always say, “Boo, taste it and see. You might like it. It’s good.” She would rely on what she knew and trusted--safe, reliable food choices. Still, not all of the foods she thought were safe were good for her. Of course, anything sweet or savory was top choice. Really, I'm no different. A pan of brownies beats a salad any day. (Did I say a pan...? Uhrm...)

A couple of weeks ago, Pastor was talking about the ways Christians hunger and thirst for God. Hunger and thirst are specific verbs that define an element of survival. Without food and water for any prolonged period of time, people can't survive. The same thing is true about having a relationship with God.

Pastor shared one of my favorite verses during his sermon--Psalm 34:8:

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.

I can't tell if David is inviting people to God's table or commanding people to come to God. Either way, the statement holds some power over me. Are you hungry? Give God a try. Taste and see God. He's good! Are you thirsty? Drink from God's well. Try the living water. Your thirst will be satisfied! God's word is the food and water for the soul--the spiritual fare for survival.

What comes before this particular passage also reads confusingly like an invitation or an imperative. However David intends the passage, the invitation calls on people to give glory to God, to get in agreement with God and taste all that God has in store for them, for me, for you, for God's followers.

How do we get to fill our plates? By giving God the glory. Check this out:

Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together.

David's invitation is a request for fellowship. Eating alone is not as much fun as eating with others. (I love this, and I'm an introvert.) By glorifying God together, God's name gets out, people get lifted up. Getting with other people and giving God praise is contagious, and David is extending an invitation in his time and across the distance of time...but the invitation doesn't end there.

David testifies, telling his own story of refuge with God and encouraging by showing how sweet and savory God's favor tastes when we praise him:

I sought the Lord, and He answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

How uplifting is it to know that just seeking God relieves fears! David faced a giant. That must've been terrifying, but God delivered David. David had to run from Saul when Saul tried to kill David. Still, David lifted up God and sought God. David was delivered from all of these attacks. God wants to the same for others who seek Him. How sweet is this kind of deliverance?

I love the candidness of David's words in the next part and imagery David evokes describing how God's love shines on us when we just ask Him. David describes people who glorify God and how are seen:

Those who look to Him are radiant; Their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them.

Praising God brings glory down on us. That glory is reflected through us. We can't help it! Have you ever been excited about something and tried to duck your head in shame? What a challenge to hide that kind of bubbling joy! Giving glory to God looks like this to me. When my face is praising God, shame can't enter in; my face is already occupied giving glory to God. When I'm around other people praising God, the glory spreads through me. Fear is pushed away. I feel the presence of God.

What about the word "encamp"? "The Lord encamps" means God establishes himself or occupies the space of the camp in "those who fear Him, and He delivers them." I want that feeling--the feeling of being delivered from my shame and guilt, the feeling of radiant joy.

The poor man in this part of the verse is, I think, David. God repeatedly rescued David from various troubles. Getting to the throne wasn't easy! David brought a sling shot and a stone to battle and faced down a giant. David was hunted by Saul--the king he was supposed to succeed. Still, David turned his face to God and was delivered from these troubles. God surrounded David with his protection and love. The use of poor here shows readers how God cares for everyone who lacks sufficiency or who is worse off than usual or down on their luck. God wants to save people out of their troubles.

So, when David says "Taste and see that the Lord is good," he is speaking from a place of experience, of radiance, and of confidence--but also from a place of need. David needs God to bring David through the trouble. Not only is the God good, David declares that those who get a taste of God will be filled: "The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing." That's like eating a bite from a pan of brownies and being satisfied. God is so good! Even a taste of God's glory will fill us up! Accept the invitation in this song! Glorify God! Taste and see how God's love will show out in your life!

Now that she’s older, Boo wants to experience what joys her friends are experiencing when they try new foods. She wants to “taste and see." Trying new things doesn’t mean Boo likes how everything tastes, but like with David, God doesn't promise we will never experience times of trouble. David reminds us that in the times of trouble, we should glorify God, and God will hear us: "...the Lord is good....those who seek the Lord lack no good thing." God wants to bless those who seek him and promises to be with us in times of trouble.

Praise God. Take refuge in God; taste and see all of the ways God’s goodness can come into your life.

Suggested: For further reading, Psalm 34. Listen to "Psalm 34 - Taste and See" by Shane & Shane on Spotify or watch the video on YouTube.


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