An invitation to true blessing
It was cheese and potato on toast with me. It is a taste I remember savouring as a child. It tasted good, very good. But had I just looked at it and relied on mum telling me it was nice, I might have believed her, but I would not have known how nice it was. I had to taste it to know that.
Psalm 34:8-9 tells us to, “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.” It is a command, but it is also an invitation. And it is an invitation to blessing and blessing means happiness. God is saying to us that the happy person is the one who relies on him for everything. She will lack nothing.
It is an invitation to take God at his Word. “Come on. Taste and see that I really am as good as my Word tells you that I am.” Don’t leave it to speculation. Taste it for yourself.
And the invitation is to see that the Lord is good. The lie we all too often believe is that God is a cosmic killjoy who sets loads of mean and restricting rules that leave us miserable and unfulfilled. But God is inviting us to taste and see that this is not true. We look for fulfillment in all the wrong things; career, family, cars, gadgets, fashion statements, appearance, romance. All of these are good things given to us by God. But, as Tim Keller says, “they cannot bear the weight of your soul.” If we look to them for fulfillment they will disappoint us in the end. But turning to God in Christ Jesus leads us to a truly fulfilled life because it is the one we were created for. The infinitely good God is more than able to supply all that we need for true happiness. And that happiness lies in giving glory to God, delighting in him and loving him.
But we do not really gain this blessing, this happiness, if we simply affirm that it very likely is so. We might very well believe it to be true. But unless we taste it we will not know it for ourselves. God says, “Don’t just look. Sample the wares. Come and eat of the goodness I provide.”
We are invited to taste and to see that the God is good. As we look at the character of God in Scripture we can see that he has always acted rightly, justly, fairly and lovingly towards his people. He truly is a good God. Even after the rebellion of Israel, when they made the golden calf and worshipped it, and after Moses (who here points forward to what Jesus does for us) intercedes for them, God gives them a new copy of his law as a sign that he remains their God and that he remains faithful to those he has called. This is amazing grace to totally undeserving people (in fact, for an ungrateful people). And if he did that then, how much more will he do so now for those who are called to be his in Jesus Christ?
All well and good but how do we taste God’s goodness? The answer is in Jesus Christ. He tells us that he is the very bread of life (John 6:35). And later he tells us that he is the bread that has come down from heaven, “which anyone may eat and never die.” When we come to Jesus, trusting in his life-giving sacrificial death on the cross, we begin to feed on the very life of God in Christ, we begin to taste as well as see. But we need, through faith, to know and understand that ever after all our spiritual nourishment will come through him and him alone. And, as we give glory to God through him, we shall find that our blessedness (our delight, joy, exultation, happiness, and pleasure) will be as fulfilling as we could ever dream of and then some more.
So believer, have you come to Jesus to not just believe but to experience how good God is? If not, see the grace of our God in the invitation he extends and “taste” as well as see that he truly is good. Seek from the Lord your true happiness in him. Pray to him to exert his mighty strength in you so that you will find your true pleasure in your delight in him and in Jesus Christ his Son.
And you who as yet do not believe, why do you sit on the sidelines with your doubts? Or with your clever denials? Why not come and take up the invitation to taste for yourself whether or not the Lord is good? God gives the invite because he wants us to put him to his Word. Come. Taste. See. He really is good.