Psalm 34:8 - Taste Jesus and Experience Fullness of Joy.
Psa.34:8: Taste Jesus and Experience Fullness of Joy.
O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that
trusteth in him. Psa 34:8 (KJV)
David writes this psalm for the spiritually immature, who need
to be instructed in the ways of God. One thing David thinks we need
to know is how to live in a way that brings the blessing of God.
How do we face the hard times? When we hurt, we want to know: Have
we done something wrong? Has God deserted us? What do we need to do
to receive God's help? These are good questions. If we pay
attention to David, we will get some answers. [Quiet Time SB]
The psalmist invites others not to take his word, but to put the
matter to the test for themselves. "Taste" is from the Hebrew "to try
the flavor of," here meaning, "to experience". The surest proof of
religion is found in personal experience. Without Christian experience
the religion of Christ is only theory, and as mere theory it has no
saving power. [SDA Commentary]
Taste is an important figure of speech in the Bible. Everywhere
it's used figuratively. Taste suggests full participation in and/or
experience of the thing enjoyed. Here, the invitation to "taste and see
that the Lord is good" is a call to rely fully on Him and to
experience the benefits of a personal relationship with God. [Victor Bible
Let any man in this spirit approach his Maker, and plead the
promises that are suited to his case, and he will soon know whether the
doctrine be of God. He shall taste and then see, that the Lord is good,
and that the man is blessed who trusts in him. This is what is
called experimental religion; the living, operative knowledge that a
true believer has that he is passed from death unto life. (Adam
The word "taste" here means properly to try the flavor of
anything, to eat a little so as to ascertain what a thing is,.... It is used
here in the sense of making a trial of, or testing by experience. The
idea is, that by putting trust in God-- by testing the comforts of
religion-- one would so thoroughly see or perceive the blessings of it--
would have so much happiness in it-- that he would be led to seek his
happiness there altogether.... If those who are in danger would look to him;
if sinners would believe in him; if the afflicted would seek him;
if the wretched would cast their cares on him; if they who have
sought in vain for happiness in the world, would seek happiness in
him-- they would, one and all, so surely find what they need that they
would renounce all else, and put their trust alone in God. (Barnes'
You may have heard it said that a person does not really know
who his friends are until the bottom drops out. I think there is
great truth to that. All of us have experienced the pain of
discovering that people we thought would be faithful - no matter what - were
simply "fair-weather friends." You know, friends whose loyalty hinges
upon the climate or circumstances. As long as the relationship is
enjoyable, they are with you all the way. But when it begins to demand some
sacrifice on their part, they are hard to find. The ultimate measure of
friends is not where they stand in times of comfort and convenience, but
where they stand in times of challenge and controversy. That being the
case, apart from adversity of some kind, we would never know who our
faithful friends really are.
In the same way, we will never know in a personal way the
faithfulness of Christ apart from adversity. As a result, our faith in Him
would never increase. It would remain static. One of the primary
reasons God allows us to face adversity is so that He can demonstrate
His faithfulness and in turn increase our faith. If you are a
believer, you. have made a decision to trust Christ with you eternal
destiny. But you will not experience His faithfulness in that particular
area until you die. God wants more from you and for you than simple
intellectual acknowledgement of His faithfulness. It is His will that you
experience it now.
If our lives are free from pain, turmoil and sorrow, our
knowledge of God will remain purely academic. Our relationship with Him
could be compared with that of a great-great-grandfather about whom we
have heard stories, yet never met personally. We would have great
admiration, but. no intimacy, no fellowship. There would always be a sense
of distance and mystery.
That is not the kind of relationship God wants with His
children. Through the death of Christ, God has opened the way for us to
have direct access to Him. He went to great lengths to clear the way
so that nothing stands between Him and His children. There is
potential now for intimacy between us and our Creator....
God is in the process of engineering circumstances through which
He can reveal Himself to each of us. And both history as well as
our personal testimonies bear witness to the fact that it is in
times of adversity that we come to a greater realization of God's
incredible faithfulness to us. (How to Handle Adversity by Charles Stanley)
It assaults our pride to acknowledge that there are things we
don't know or problems we can't overcome. But when we stop trying to
do it ourselves, we are in a position to receive the help God
sends. [Quiet Time SB]
If we have gone through life trusting in our own judgment, we
may find it hard to commit our will to God and his plan for us. But
if we refuse to seek God's help and direction, we may never know
just how good he can be to us. He has the power and the wisdom we
need to have victory in our struggles with sin and temptation. [Life
When we look to the world, we are perplexed, and at a loss. But
on looking to Christ depends our whole salvation, and all things
needful.... Those who trust to themselves, and think their own efforts
sufficient for them, shall want; but they shall be fed who trust in the
Lord. [Matthew Henry Commentary]
"Taste and see" does not mean, "Check out God's credentials."
Instead it is a warm invitation: "Try this; I know you'll like it." When
we take that first step of obedience in following God, we cannot
help discovering that he is good and kind. When we begin the
Christian life, our knowledge of God is partial and incomplete. As we
trust him daily, we experience how good he is. [Life Application SB]
At the University of Chicago Divinity School each year they have
what is called "Baptist Day". It is a day when all the Baptists in
the area are invited to the school because they want the Baptist
dollars to keep coming in. On this day each one is to bring a lunch to
be eaten outdoors in a grassy picnic area. Every "Baptist Day" the
school would invite one of the greatest minds to lecture in the
theological education center.
One year they invited Dr. Paul Tillich. Dr. Tillich spoke for
two and one-half hours proving that the resurrection of Jesus was
false. He quoted scholar after scholar and book after book. He
concluded that since there was no such thing as the historical
resurrection the religious tradition of the church was groundless, emotional
mumbo-jumbo, because it was based on a relationship with a risen Jesus, who,
in fact, never rose from the dead in any literal sense.
He then asked if there were any questions. After about 30
seconds, an old, dark skinned preacher with a head of short-cropped,
woolly white hair stood up in the back of the auditorium.
Docta Tillich, I got one question, he said as all eyes turned
toward him. He reached into his sack lunch and pulled out an apple and
began eating it.
Docta Tillich ... CRUNCH, MUNCH ... My question is a simple
question, CRUNCH, MUNCH ...Now, I ain't never read them books you
read...CRUNCH, MUNCH ..and I can't recite the Scriptures in the original
Greek...CRUNCH, MUNCH... I don't know nothin' about Niebuhr and Heidegger...
CRUNCH, MUNCH ..He finished the apple. All I wanna know is: This apple I
just ate,------was it bitter or sweet?
Dr. Tillich paused for a moment and answered in exemplary
scholarly fashion: I cannot possibly answer that question, for I haven't
tasted your apple.
The white-haired preacher dropped the core of his apple into his
crumpled paper bag, looked up at Dr. Tillich and said calmly, Neither
have you tasted my Jesus.
The 1,000 plus in attendance could not contain themselves. The
auditorium erupted with applause and cheers. Dr.Tillich thanked his
audience and promptly left the platform.
Psalms 34:8 "Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the
man who takes refuge in Him."
John Gill preached in the same church as Charles H. Spurgeon 100
years before him. Spurgeon got his theology from John Gill. Below is
John Gill's note on Psa 34:8.
O taste, and see that the Lord [is] good; He is essentially,
infinitely, perfectly, immutably, and solely good in himself; and he is
communicatively and diffusively good to others: he is the author of all good,
but not of any evil, in a moral sense; this chiefly regards his
special grace and goodness through Christ: all the divine Persons in the
Godhead are good; the Father is good, he has good designs towards his
people, has provided good things for them, made good promises to them,
and bestows good gifts on them: the Son is good; the good Shepherd
that has laid down his life for the sheep; he is the fountain of all
grace and goodness to his churches, and to particular believers; he
has wrought a good work for them, the work of redemption, and he
speaks a good word on their behalf in the court of heaven: the Spirit
is good; he works good things in the hearts of the sons of men, and
shows good things unto them; and gracious souls, such as the psalmist
here calls upon, are capable of tasting and discerning how good the
Lord is in some measure; see Ps 119:103; So 2:3; 1Pe 2:2,3. While
unregenerate, their taste is vitiated, and remains unchanged, and sin is what
they feed upon with pleasure, and so detest everything that is good;
but in conversion a new taste is given, so as to have a saving
experimental knowledge of the grace and goodness of God in Christ, an
application of it to them; and in such manner as to live upon it, and be
nourished by it; and though this is not a superficial taste of things,
like that of hypocrites, nor a single one only, being frequently
repeated; yet it is but a taste in comparison of the enjoyment of it in
the heavenly state; and every taste now influences and engages trust
in the Lord,