Key Verse: “O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”
—Psalm 34:8, New American Standard Bible
THE INVITATION IN OUR Key Verse to “taste and see that the Lord is good” expresses great wisdom. The metaphor of taste is a common one. After an unpleasant experience we may hear the phrase, “That left a bad taste in my mouth.” Likewise, when speaking of an anticipated happy experience, we may hear, “I can almost taste it!” The message we derive from this is that the best way to discover the merits of something is by experiencing it.
The Psalmist David spoke in superlatives of God’s goodness to him. God treated him with mercy, and was patient and forgiving. God showed him great kindness. In Psalm 23 he wrote, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” (vs. 6) We also experience God’s goodness daily. He has forgiven us, been kind to us, and shown us much mercy. We have tasted that our loving Heavenly Father is good.
Paul rejoiced in God’s goodness. “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit.”—Rom. 5:1-5, NASB
We have been “justified by faith” and it causes us to “exult in hope of the glory of God” to be revealed in us. Such joy seems obvious. However, less obvious is the fact that we, along with Paul, can also “exult in our tribulations.” We can do so because in them we come to experience the goodness and delivering power of God, and thus taste that he is good.
Later, we read this pertinent exhortation from Paul. “I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Rom. 12:1,2, NASB) Other translations of these verses suggest the thought that we are putting the will of God to the proof. That is, by living the will of God as shown in the Scriptures, we prove to ourselves that it is good, acceptable and perfect. By such experience, we likewise taste the goodness of God.
Our Key Verse also notes, “How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” There is no better refuge we can take. In the storms of life, or our quiet anxieties, we may safely abide in the Lord. “By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.” (I John 4:13, NASB) Having God’s spirit and abiding in him have the effect of growing into his likeness in our hearts and minds. “As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness; I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake.” (Ps. 17:15, NASB) Let us taste the goodness of our Lord and always rejoice in his restoration work within us.