“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!”
Just these few words communicate an eternity of truth. Not only do they sum up Psalm 34, but are truly a summary of all of the psalms. Furthermore, these words reveal an overarching theme of the entire Bible – the LORD is good! This phrase is crucial for our understanding of God. First, the proposition “the LORD is good” is a truth claim about God’s nature – not just who He is but what He is essentially. God is Good! This means that He cannot be anything other than good, which leads us to our next point. Verse 8 says, “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!”, emphasizing not only God’s nature but His actions as well. Since God is good and cannot be anything other than good, whatever He does, commands, wills, and speaks is good, regardless of human comprehension or judgment. God is good and all that He does is good.
Knowing that God is good is essential for trusting Him. There are many times in our lives that we cannot comprehend how something happening to us or someone else can possibly be good. If we do not know that God is good how can we trust Him. If we think of Him as some cosmic moral policeman, waiting to strike you down any chance that He gets, then you would be hesitant to trust Him in those dark moments. Knowing that the God, who is sovereignly working in all things, is good, enables you and I to trust Him no matter what we may experience. Our confidence or trust cannot rest on our extremely limited comprehension, but upon the God who is good and only does that which is good.
Not only is God’s goodness crucial for our understanding of God but it is crucial for those who have not tasted of the Lord’s goodness in Christ Jesus. The world does not see God as good, though He is gracious to all. They see pain and suffering in the world and accuse God of evil or deny His existence. They say that either He is unwillingly to stop evil and therefore not good or that He is unable to stop it and therefore not God. Not only that, but those who do not know of His goodness see those who claim to be His people and rather than being left with a satisfying taste of God’s goodness, they have a bitter taste in their mouth. The verse says, “Oh taste and see that the LORD is good!” If we, God’s ambassadors through Christ, wrongly represent the One who alone is good (Lk 18:19), we are preaching a false and deadly gospel to the world in word and in deed. Gypsy Smith once said, “There are five gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and the Christian and most people will never read the first four.” God’s goodness is exemplified in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ – the gospel. As those who have tasted and seen the Lord’s goodness in salvation, and will continually do so for eternity, we have a calling to be, speak, and live the goodness of God in the gospel before the world. People are watching, waiting, and longing for that good news and for the satisfaction that only comes through faith in Jesus.
What taste are you leaving with people? Satisfying goodness or bitter emptiness?