Durian, starfruit, and karela are revolting. I’m also suspicious of anyone who finds okra or white aubergines palatable. How can I be certain that they’re all vile? I’ve tried them! If you haven’t… spare your taste buds the pain. Please.
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (Psalm 34:8)
Whilst on the run from King Saul, David flees towards an enemy, King Achish, for help (1 Samuel 21:10-15). In verse 12, David realises his error in judgement and feigns madness to escape from him. Later, he writes about his deliverance in Psalm 34* (a beautiful chapter) and invites others to experience God’s goodness for themselves. Today’s key text comes from a man who recognises that testimonies aren’t supposed to be experienced second hand. It’s nice to be encouraged by what God is doing in the lives of others, but you weren’t designed to live vicariously through their experiences.
Seeing comes from tasting.
David talks about the outcome of ‘tasting’ the Lord with absolute certainty. His conclusion isn’t subjective. If God were to be anything less than good, then He would cease to be God; He personifies goodness itself. So how do you taste Him? By consuming Him (pun intended). Well, perhaps I’m oversimplifying it… However, I’m fond of the food I like because I’ve tried it and I enjoyed it. Likewise, I can testify of God’s goodness due to multiple personal testimonies. In David’s invitation, there isn’t a hint of doubt that you will find God to be anything other than good. Try Him and see!
*Please note that although Abimelech is used in Psalms but Achish is used in 1 Samuel, both names refer to the same person.
The latter half of the key text is the natural byproduct of doing the first (or at least it should be). Real trust isn’t something that is gained overnight. Through consistent encounters with God you learn to rely on His goodness. This trust allows you to have peace when you question whether God really was good in how He responded to your situation. If you can’t trust in the one person whose actions are always good, then who can you trust?
Tasting leads to trusting.
When David appeared before King Achish, he was actually carrying an artefact from one of his previous victories (Goliath’s sword; 1 Samuel 21:9-10). Whilst the sword just happened to be the only one that was available, I’m sure having such a poignant reminder of an instance when his trust in God delivered him, helped him to overcome his present sticky situation. Verse 12 demonstrates that fear isn’t eliminated simply because you trust God. However, its impact is significantly diminished. By tasting God consistently, you’re allowing trusting Him implicitly to become second nature.
- Persevere – you might argue that David had a million and one reasons to believe that God is good, but you’re struggling to share that perspectives because of your experiences. It may seem counterintuitive or even futile to bring your concerns to the very person you’re convinced isn’t good. However, I’m confident that God is waiting for an opportunity to shift your mindset.
- Make ‘tasting’ fun – perhaps your present methods of tasting God feel stale and monotonous. It might not even be that God seems ‘bad’, He just seems ‘meh.’ That’s not what this psalm says. I’m smiling as I type because I’ve just thought of a specific time when I experienced His goodness. Experiences like that typically come when I’m overwhelmed, so in a funny way I like being in situations which force me rely on God.
- Do a gap analysis – which areas of your life do you trust God with? Which areas would you rather trust yourself with? Reflect on the reasons why you can’t trust God as much as you’d like and think of practical ways you can change this.
Your ability to trust is strengthened by how often you taste Him. Taste! Taste! And keep tasting! Unlike the fruits and vegetables in the intro, you’ll definitely want to indulge in God.