“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (Psalm 34:8).
THAT GOD IS “GOOD” IS ONE OF THE MOST VALUABLE TRUTHS EVER ENTRUSTED TO THE HUMAN RACE. How could we survive if we did not know that He is perfectly wise and just — and that He is benevolently inclined toward us? Like the other aspects of His nature, God’s goodness far surpasses our ability to comprehend it. His benevolence is an ocean deeper than we can fathom. But the Scriptures hold up this truth for us to contemplate and to be comforted by. And the wonder of it all is that our Creator’s goodness is consummated in this great desire: He desires to give Himself to us. “God is so good that he only awaits our desire to overwhelm us with the gift of himself” (François Fénelon).
David invites us to experience God’s goodness firsthand. “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good.” We can debate the theoretical pros and cons of divine goodness for months and not learn as much about it as there is to be learned in one day of actual walking with God. Ultimately, “the proof is in the pudding,” as the old cooks used to say. And as John Keats observed, “Nothing ever becomes real until it is experienced — even a proverb is no proverb to you till your life has illustrated it.” If we wish to make great spiritual strides, one of the most valuable things we can do is to “taste” that which up to now we’ve only thought about.
There is, of course, a degree of risk involved in the “tasting” approach, and that may be why we limit ourselves to theoretical discussions of God’s goodness. It is safer, in a sense, simply to talk about the question than to put ourselves at risk and find out for sure. So David’s statement, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good,” is followed immediately by the benediction, “Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” Trust is truly what it takes to find out whether God’s goodness can be counted on. If we hide behind our suspicions and keep God at a “safe” distance, then we can’t expect to know for ourselves what it is like to walk with Him. God’s goodness is best tested by being tasted.
Acquaint thyself with God,
If thou wouldst taste His works.
Admitted once to His embrace,
Thou shalt perceive that thou wast blind before.