"O Taste and See That the Lord is Good"

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul will make its boast in the Lord; The humble will hear it and rejoice. O magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces will never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him And saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them. O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! O fear the Lord, you His saints; For to those who fear Him there is no want.
--Psalm 34:1-9
In January of this year, the people of CrossPointe were given a book by Donald Whitney to assist us in diagnosing areas of our spiritual walk where we may be weak or lacking.  As we pray and ask the Lord to strengthen or add what may be lacking to grow in the fullness of the riches we have in Christ, the author gives suggestions of what believers can do while cooperating with the Holy Spirit as He works and moves in our lives to grow us into maturity.

Each month this year, as I have sought the Lord in prayer, I've been trying to implement at least two suggestions from Donald Whitney's book in my daily life.  To increase my thirst for God's Word, he suggested praying scripture back to the Lord.  So in February, I set up a plan to pray to the Lord one psalm a day.  This practice has greatly enriched my prayer time and drawn me closer to the Lord as I have prayed His own Words back to Him.

Psalm 34 is one such example.  David wrote this psalm during the time when he was on the run from Saul.  David and his men were camped in the wilderness near the Dead Sea.  David had grown weary so he headed into the land of the Philistines.  King Achish and his men didn't trust David.  He had slew their champion, Goliath while David was still a boy and they had heard the reports of the many men he had killed in battle.  When David realized the danger he was in, he pretended to be insane and the king drove David out of his presence.  After escaping with his life and returning to the wilderness in Israel, David wrote this psalm.  It's a beautiful song of deliverance and praise.  But I only want to focus on part of one verse in this psalm.
"O taste and see that the Lord is good:"
David is calling us to experience the Lord's goodness and to enjoy Him.  It's to experience Him for oneself, not just know about Him.  The word David uses for "taste" means more than just to sample something.  When you walk into the food court at the mall the restaurant workers with their trays of bite-sized samples ask if you would like a taste.  The Hebrew word means more than just tasting a morsel, it is the feed on Him.  And we feed on Him through His Word.  As it says in Psalm 119, His Word is sweeter than honey.  It is by His Word that we come to know Him better, to love Him more, to offer sweet praises to Him, and to grow in our obedience to Him.

"Taste and see" also implies to savor the Lord using your senses.  Last month, I also read a book on the Lord's Supper and baptism.  The author explains that when we partake in the Lord's Supper we experience through our senses what God's Word says.  We take in the truth of Jesus' words by hearing: "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me".  And "This is the new covenant in my blood; do this..in remembrance of Me".  We see and feel the elements in our hands and we taste the bread and juice on our tongues.  By remembering through using physical elements, in addition to hearing Jesus' words, the the truths that those in Christ have their sins forgiven and no longer under wrath, are adopted into God's family, have peace with their Creator, have the indwelling Holy Spirit to lead in all righteousness, are no longer slaves to sin, have eternal life and will one day be in the presence of God, becomes concrete in our minds and our hearts.  This then leads to thanksgiving, praise, and a renewal of our commitment to the living Christ.

So next time you partake in the Lord's Supper, with thanksgiving and praise, renew your commitment to Christ:
  1.  To turn from sin, selfishness, self reliance, and pride
  2. Look to Christ and Christ alone for salvation from sin and death
  3. Find you ultimate identity and fulfillment in Him
  4. Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him
  5. Obey His every command
  6. Extend His Kingdom through the proclamation of the Gospel (1)

(1) List taken from Tim Chester, Truth We Can Touch (Crossway), pg. 123