May 3, 2009

How Can I Taste God?

Taste and see that the LORD is good.
     Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!

Psalm 34:8 invites us to “taste and see that the LORD is good.” This leads me to wonder how I can take the psalmist up on his offer. How can I taste God and his goodness?

The Hebrew verb translated here as “taste” means, literally, to sense the flavor of food. It appears, for example, in the discussion of manna in Exodus 16:31: “It was white like coriander seed, and it tasted like honey wafers.” In Psalm 34:8 it is used metaphorically. We don’t literally taste God, of course. But we can experience him and discover his goodness, much as we might sample a new food that proves to be delicious.

The invitation to “taste and see that the LORD is good” reminds us that faith in God is not simply a matter of ideas, though our theology certainly does matter. Through Jesus Christ, we have a living relationship with the living God. We are blessed to experience God in manifold ways: as we are quiet before him in prayer, as we celebrate his saving power in worship, as his Spirit fills and leads us, as we reach out to serve others in his name, as we taste the bread and wine of communion, and in countless other ways. The more we experience God, the more we will know his goodness, and the more we will rejoice in him.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: When have you “tasted” God’s goodness? In what ways do you regularly experience God?

PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to “taste” your goodness. Thank you for making yourself known to me, not only in theological truth, but also in my experiences. Thank you for the many, many ways I have experienced your goodness.

Help me, Lord, to taste still more of you. As I walk with you each day, help me to experience yet more of your goodness. May my relationship with you be as real as the food I eat.

All praise be to you, O God, for your matchless and immeasurable goodness! Amen.

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