I hope your Monday is off to a great start. I’ve just completed some training with the team at Richmond Prep, and I’ve got to tell you: I’m really pumped about this upcoming school year.
Yesterday, at church my mom preached from Psalm 34:4. After sitting down to do some work in preparation for this morning’s training, I spent some time looking at the entire Psalm 34 passage. I took a look at the history of the psalm and I found myself really focused on verse 8:
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him” - Psalm 34:8
When I was a kid, I was a really picky eater. That trend lasted well into my adult years. When I say I was picky, I mean picky like... I just started eating tomatoes last year! To this very day I refuse to eat onions; I don’t believe in them. (Don't ask.) My parents used to laugh at my pickiness. They used to tell me all the time “you don’t know what you’re missing!”
Raw vegetables? No, thank you. Salad dressing? Nah. I’m good. I wanted no parts of that stuff and at least one hundred other things that looked yucky to me. I was serious about my pickiness, too. I can laugh at my highly selective eating habits, now but the truth is, most of the time I had no reason for “disliking” food. I based my distate for any given item on the way it looked to me.
A few years ago when I finally started to get out of my dietary box, I started with eating some really basic salads. I was so shocked by how good these things were! (Cucumbers! Praise the lord for cucumbers!) I finally realized what my parents had said. I hadn’t known at all what I was missing and there really was no way for them to describe to me all of the intricate tastes that make salads delicious. I’d been missing out on big time deliciousness all this time because I was just too afraid to try.
In this Psalm, we find David doing his usual: extolling the graciousness of God. But these circumstances were weird. As he was writing this passage, he was leaving the service of the Philistine king of Gath. If you remember your Sunday Bible school lessons, you’ll remember that David slew the champion of Gath, Goliath. As a result he became the toast of Israel’s court and of Israel’s king, Saul. But, Saul’s favor for David fell when he learned that God’s anointing was on David. David spent a long time running from Saul’s attempts to assasinate him. During his time as a fugitive of the king he once served, David found himself in the favor of the Abimelech - the king of Gath whose champion David had slain in legendary fashion! Talk about an example of God's grace and unique way of doing things!
This was just one piece of David’s epic life story, but through all of the twists and turns, we learn that David was a pro at leaning on God. Maybe it was experiences like the ones he had with Saul and Abimelech that developed him to so faithfully trust in God. In fact, I’m sure that’s the case. I think this verse from Psalm 34 is the proof. David knew God. As a result of knowing him, he trusted him. But, the knowledge of God and David’s legendary trust in God all began with David stepping out to try God in the first place. To put it another way, David’s knowing came as a result of tasting God’s nature. He says “Taste and see!” Tasting leads to knowing.
In our daily lives, we are often challenged to rely on God. In fact, we are probably more challenged to do this than we might want to recognize. A lot of times we talk ourselves out of obedience because the circumstances don’t look right. Sometimes we convince ourselves that things don’t make sense. We lean to our own understanding and away from God’s almight providence. Too often we pass up opportunities to taste and see that God is faithful and loving and mighty and wise and beautiful!
As we venture out into the week, let’s make a promise to ourselves to look for opportunities to sample God’s goodness in new ways. When he pulls us toward challenges, whether great or small, let’s look at his pulling as an opportunity to try a sample - an opportunity to taste and see. Let’s look at each of those opportunities as a chance to know God more. If you can’t look to my reformed eating habits, you can certainly rely on David’s testimony in this: knowing is in tasting!
No questions this week. Just go for it!