In the first part of Psalm 34, the psalmist calls upon us to taste and see that the Lord is good in verse 8, an odd expression to us. This is while David is fleeing from Saul for his life, and he ends up among the Philistines in I Samuel 21:10-12. He goes from one bad situation to another, and he realizes that he must turn to God if he is to survive to be king. During this time, he writes Psalm 34.
David calls for deliverance in the first four verses, and the later part of the chapter is focused on those who would come to his aid. David calls himself a poor man when the Lord helps him, and this verse leads into verse 8. In this analogy, how does our relationship with God relate to our tastes?
The Taste of God’s Goodness
- Often, when we want food, we want it soon. I John 4:13-17 encourages that God wants us to lean on Him, to rely on Him. He is there any time we need Him.
- Additionally, we desire fresh food when we hunger. I Corinthians 4:16-18 gives us a refreshing message of the hope in God. Eternity waits for us in Him.
- We want food that fills us. John 6:35 records Jesus calling Himself the bread of life, giving a message of spiritual and eternal fulfillment, a quenching of our hunger and thirst.
- We sometimes fear trying something new. We have to give up some control when we submit ourselves to a new experience, Proverbs 3:1-12 encourages us to give spiritual control to God. It can be scary, but He assures that He provides for us.
- The best meals in life are often free. Romans 6:20-23 calls us free from sin, receiving fruits of sanctification. His gift to us is free if we but submit to Him and give Him control.
Sometimes we like to smell our food before taking a bite. It may guard us from risking something we don’t like, but Psalm 34:8 blesses the one who simply trusts in God. He praises the man who partakes of God’s goodness freely and without hesitation.
Confidence in God
Consider Psalm 18, which Paul writes later in his life. Can we call God our refuge or our rock? Can we face death and destruction with God at our sides? Do we call to Him in our distress? God hears us. He knows when our hearts need Him the most. In this chapter, David trusts the strength of the Lord, the forgiveness of the Lord, and the security of the Lord. Can we express this same confidence? David says he will praise God before the nations for the salvation he gains in Him.
How are we experiencing God’s goodness? Are we just smelling, just sampling, or are we completely giving ourselves over to that hope? God invites us to experience all He has to offer, but, in doing so, we must completely give ourselves over to Him.
lesson by Donn Koonce