Taste and See

Psalm 34:8 – “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!”

This Hebrew word for “taste” means “to try the flavor, to perceive the flavor.” The idea is not a casual sampling.

Why would David say “taste”? He could have some “ponder the goodness of God” or “praise Him for His goodness” or “remember His goodness”; he chose the word “taste.” The word “taste” carries the connotation of a pleasant experience. There is a savoring and deliciousness to finding your enjoyment only in God.

Here is how Jonathan Edwards puts it:

“The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows; but God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams. But God is the ocean. Therefore it becomes us to spend this life only as a journey toward heaven, as it becomes us to make the seeking of our highest end and proper good, the whole work of our lives; to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why would be labour for, or set our hearts on, any thing else, but that which is our proper end, and true happiness.”[1]

God is not hidden away on some holy mountain. He is very near us. We all have access to Him and His goodness. And He showers blessings on those who taste Him and experience His goodness.

One of the great treasures in church history was the Puritan Thomas Watson. Watson writes and illustrates tasting God this way:

“Sometimes when people are sick, they lose interest in eating. They do not find a savory relish in their food. When Christians find no sweetness in God’s promises, it is a sign of a spiritual sickness. At one time they did not find comfort in drawing near to God. His Word was as honey, very delicious to their soul, but now it is otherwise. They can taste no more sweetness in spiritual things than in the white of an egg. To lose the taste indicates the loss of the first love. They have no appetite, they do not so prize Christ, and they have no strong affections to the Word. Sadly, their love is decaying. When Christians grow more in love with the world, it indicates a decrease of spiritual love. Their thoughts and interests are still bound to the earth. It is a sign they are going down the hill quickly and their love to God is declining. When rust attacks a metal, it takes away the brightness and corrodes the metal. In the same way, when the world clings to people’s souls, it not only hinders the shining luster of their graces, but by degrees it corrodes them.”[2]

We all seek happiness, and happiness can only be found in God. If you don’t believe, taste and see.

taste-and-see

[1] Quote from The Christian Pilgrim.

[2] Thomas Watson, Show Me Your Love: Classic Christian Writings, edited by John Hudson Tiner (Uhrichsville: Barbour Publishers, 2004), October 21 entry.

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