How Can We Taste and See That the Lord Is Good?
How Can We Taste and See That the Lord Is Good?
Heather Adams Contributing Writer
In Psalm 34:8, David says that those who sincerely seek the Lord “lack no good thing.” That idea encourages me to take a closer look at, and appreciate, what He has already given me. Every time I do, I’ll catch glimpses in and around me of the amazing goodness of our God.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” (Psalm 34:8)
David often wove praises and teaching together in his songs, and Psalm 34 is a wonderful example of that technique. Written after one of his escapes from his pursuer King Saul, it gives glory to God for showing such care for him. I have always appreciated how David can take such a personal incident and use it to summon God’s people. Here, he wants to inspire everyone to reach for the Lord even in the most trying of times. Why? Because we can trust that God will pour His goodness out on us.
What Does Psalm 34:8 Mean by 'Taste and See That the Lord Is Good'?
Psalm 34:8 is both a declaration and a promise about God’s grace to His people. When I read it, I also feel as if David is giving us a challenge, almost daring us to look for signs of God’s goodness. He knows we will find them. This Psalm is one of a series focused on giving thanksgiving to God. The NIV Bible introduction states “Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelek, who drove him away, and he left.” It was written at the time David was living in hiding among the Philistines.
In a way, the song includes elements of many modern church services: worship, personal testimony, teaching, and a final time of praise. Verses 1-3 are David’s vow that he will praise God in every moment. He then encourages others, inviting them to join him. “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.” In the next set of verses (4-6), David testifies about being heard and rescued by God. He again makes statements of the Lord’s kindness to those who seek Him and give Him reverence. “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. 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.”
Verse 7 is a promise that if our hearts are turned to Him, God will cover us. “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.” David then goes on to mention some righteous habits that will help us pursue the Lord with reverence and a holy passion.
- Fearing Him (v.9)
- Seeking Him (v.10)
- Listening and being taught His truth (v.11)
- Keeping our tongues from evil and our lips from telling lies (v. 13)
- Turning from evil and doing good (v.14)
How We Are Blessed If We Take Refuge in Him
In the second section of Psalm 34, David continues giving thanks to the Lord. He has survived another attempt on his life from Saul and recognizes how God has worked on his behalf. David’s words reveal several blessings we’ll find if we rest in our Heavenly Father’s presence.
First, we are blessed with God’s comfort, knowing that we are not alone and that He hears our cries. Another Psalmist celebrated this truth in Psalm 66.
“Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer.” (Psalm 66:16-19)
We also find reassurance in knowing that we don’t have to avenge ourselves because God will ultimately set any injustices right. The prophet Nahum claimed this in the Old Testament.
“The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The Lord takes vengeance on his foes and vents his wrath against his enemies.” (Nahum 1:2)
Another blessing for believers is the certainty that God will protect us and deliver us out of even the most difficult situations. This fact bolstered Jeremiah during a time of great destruction in Jerusalem.
“But I will rescue you on that day, declares the Lord; you will not be given into the hands of those you fear. I will save you…” (Jeremiah 39:17-18)
What Are Some Ways We Can Taste and See That the Lord Is Good?
This phrase evokes an image of someone fully taking in the goodness of God. And we can interpret it in a couple of different ways that add to the richness of its meaning.
1. We can take the words literally, savoring what is directly in front of us right now.
- Looking at nature,
- Slowing down to enjoy the foods, colors, music, and art we discover each day
- Valuing our relationships and seeing people as God’s handiwork, too
2. We can look at the words through a spiritual lens.
- Appreciating the fruit of the Spirit God puts within us and others
- Growing in love for people so we find joy in serving
- Finding more contentment in our daily lives
The key to getting into this mindset is all about being more aware of God as we go through our days. And we don’t have to make huge changes to get there.
- Setting time aside each day to give God our praise and thanks will nurture a sense of holy fear, or respectful awe, of Him.
- Making a habit of prayer invites the Lord in and asks for His presence to settle in us.
- Reading God’s Word regularly fills us up with His truth, replacing faulty attitudes and renewing our minds.
- Looking for ways to apply what we’ve learned about living rightly will help us reflect God to those around us.
How We Can Take Refuge In The Lord
Taking refuge means finding shelter, something we all need when life gets stormy. Thankfully, we have the perfect refuge in our Heavenly Father. Our part is to choose Him as our place to rest, with the expectation that He will shield and strengthen us. Before trials come, though, we can gain confidence that God alone will protect and provide, and that He is always faithful to those who love Him. Scripture offers accounts of what He has done for others and promises of what He will do for us. Lifting up our cares and concerns “at all times” (Ephesians 6:18) helps us to become more comfortable leaning on God. Prayer keeps our hearts turned to Him, and our minds focused on Him. And it allows the Lord to minister to us in every situation. Having healthy fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ reminds us that many times God works through people. Being supported by others in practical, emotional, or spiritual ways is a gift from the Lord.
I thank you for “abounding in love” to us. David’s words in Psalm 34 and many others, tell of a Lord who wants to hold us in the palm of His hand. I feel so blessed by this truth! Father, I pray that You will help all of us to have eyes, ears and hearts to experience the goodness You pour out every day. Let me become so aware of Your grace, even in the smallest of moments, that I can’t help but rejoice. And when trouble comes, remind me that You will not disappear, but will draw me nearer if I ask. There, in Your presence, my confidence and sense of security will grow.
Thank You, Abba Father, for such complete love and sweet provision! Lead my heart to praise You always. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
In Psalm 34:10, David says that those who sincerely seek the Lord “lack no good thing.” That idea encourages me to take a closer look at, and appreciate, what He has already given me. Every time I do, I’ll catch glimpses in and around me of the amazing goodness of our God.
Photo credit: ©Crosscards.com/BethanyPyle
Heather Adams is an author, speaker, and singer living in Connecticut. Heather’s passion is to equip and encourage believers to seek more of God’s truth and to experience more of His joy each day. Her book, Bow Down: The Heart of a True Worshipper is a practical, 30-day devotional about worship based on the writings of King David. Heather's blog, Worship Walk Ministries, offers weekly Scripture passages and insights to ponder. A native New Englander, Heather is settling into her home in the South, trying out local foods and watching for the alligators that live nearby! You can connect with her on her website: heatheradamsworshipwalk.com
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