Read Psalm 34
Focus on verse 8
I find it interesting that in my social media experience; the pictures that seem to get the most “likes” are typically pictures of food. I understand this to some extent because – who doesn’t like food? Yet on the other hand – it is impossible to get the full experience of food from a picture. There is a sense in which it is actually a little maddening to be able to see a picture of something that looks delicious, but to not be able to taste it! For a person who is genuinely hungery it would be abject cruelty. Much of our lives involves so much more than just seeing. One must engage all of one’s senses to experience life fully.
In today’s reading David writes of his experience with the Lord, and he describes it this way: “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” When David uses the word “taste” in reference to the Lord, he is not suggesting that we literally attempt to bite a chunk out of God to literally taste him. This would be a ridiculous interpretation of the text. David is writing poetry here. He is using figures of speech to describe things metaphorically. When he says “taste and see” a better interpretation of this might be to say “fully experience” that the Lord is good. He is encouraging us to use all our senses to gain the full experience that the Lord has to offer us. When we do this, he says we are blessed. “Blessed is the man (or woman) who takes refuge in the Lord.”
The greater context of the writing of this psalm is apparently shortly after David escapes from King Abimelech by acting like he has gone insane. It would seem from the general tone of the psalm that David is expressing his gratitude and relief that God came through once again to rescue him. It is entirely possible that this was a rather close call in terms of David’s survival – as many of his early experiences were when he was on the run from King Saul. In this time he learned to rely heavily on the Lord for his protection and provision. It was all part of his training to become the king that the Lord would use to bring Israel to the apex its national influence in the world of that era.
Taste and see that the Lord is good! To experience all that He has for us is more than enough for me.