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Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good

(Ps. 34:8)

When we lived in Marquette, Michigan, the Apple Man would come with a truck load of apples to sell. He didn’t try to convince us to buy some by TELLING us how fresh and good they were. He took an apple, snapped it in half with his hands and handed it to us to taste and see for ourselves. It was the crisp, juicy fruit with its sweet tart flavor that sold these apples.

So it is with Thanksgiving. Having a national day of thanksgiving cannot make us thankful. What it can do is remind us to look around and remember all the things we have to be thankful for. The only thing that can make us thankful is to taste and see for ourselves how good the Lord is. When we taste and see all the goodness of God, then God moves our hearts to true thankfulness and praise.

Taste and See the Lord’s Deliverance

King David wrote Psalm 34 after God had delivered him from the hand of Abimelech. Even though David had planned his own escape from Abimelech by pretending to be a madman, he knew it was God who had delivered him. That experience filled David with praise and thanksgiving to God.

King David now calls upon us to join him, saying: “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good” (v. 8).

If we think that it is our own inner strength or determination that gets us through our various troubles, then we will not have true thankfulness. However, when we know that it is the Lord who graciously delivers us, then we taste and see the Lord’s goodness and we will be filled with thanksgiving and praise to God.

Taste and See the Lord’s Providence

King David reminds us that there is much more of the Lord’s goodness to taste and see. He says: “There is no want to those who fear Him. The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing” (vv. 9-10).

Take time to enjoy all the variety of food, the riches, and pleasures we have in abundance, and remember that it all comes from God’s gracious hand.

Remember also, as Jacob confessed: “I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant; for I crossed over this Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two companies” (Gen. 32:10).

If we feel we have earned or deserved something, we will not be very thankful for it. But when we realize, as Jacob did, that we do not deserve any of God’s blessings, then our hearts will rejoice and be filled with thanksgiving that God has blessed us by His grace.

When we see our own unworthiness, we can taste and see the Lord’s abundant goodness so much more clearly.

During this fortieth anniversary year of the CLC, we might well recall all the times the Lord has delivered us from the attacks of Satan and has blessed us in so many ways with His goodness. We have tasted the goodness of the Lord time and again. Let us give thanks to Him for his goodness.

Taste and See the Lord’s Salvation

Being delivered from Abimelech must have caused King David to recall the much greater deliverance of God from sin and hell. He says: “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit” (v. 18).

When we come to God with a broken and contrite heart, confessing our sins, then we can truly taste and see the Lord’s goodness in its greatest extent.

King David closes this psalm of praise with these words of promise: “The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned” (v. 22).

Yes, the goodness of the Lord is overwhelming. He has cleansed us of all sin and delivered us from death and hell. He has made us His own dear children and has become our Father.

When we taste and see this for ourselves, then we too will be filled with praise and thanksgiving and be compelled to join King David in saying: “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together” (vv. 1-3).

–Pastor David Reim