Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8 (NIV)
One of my twin boys is a picky eater. I used to blame myself for this. Now I realize, because both boys have been brought up in the same way, they are just different. One is more adventurous with food than the other. I often encourage my son who turns up his nose at something he hasn’t eaten before. “Just try it,” I urge,“you might enjoy it.”
In Psalm 34, David says putting our trust in God is like trying new food.“Find out for yourself,” he says,“you will discover God is good.” David spoke from experience.
In Hot Water
David should have been living the life of a hero. He fearlessly killed the Philistine giant, Goliath, who terrified the army of Israel. Elevated to army commander, he won many more battles against the Philistines. His conquests made him popular among the people of Israel. With celebrity status, he inspired a hit song: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.” However, David’s fame only made King Saul livid, and intensely jealous. Saul wanted David dead.
So, David was on the run. He needed physical sustenance, protection, and priestly help. David went to Ahimelek the priest with a fabricated story about being on the king’s business so he could get food and a weapon. He left with consecrated bread from the temple, and the only weapon available—Goliath’s sword.
Danger lurked in every hideout, and each face in Israel. In desperation David fled across the border into the enemy territory of Philistia—a strip of land between the coast and Israel, near present day Gaza—where Saul could not hunt him down. With Goliath’s sword on his waist, David headed for the nearest city, Gath, home of Goliath and Achish, the King of Gath. He would be safe from Saul and receive protection from Achish, so he thought.
However, David discovered his reputation went before him. The servants of Achish instantly recognized David. Even knowledge of the song had reached their royal court. Most likely Achish’s attendants could not believe their luck. David, the highly respected warrior, was alone in their midst, with only Goliath’s sword to protect him. A sword proven worthless to Goliath.
David realized he now faced another life-threatening situation. He was afraid. No matter how carefully he had planned, things were not going to plan.
When to trust God
Scripture says David heard the words spoken about him and he took them to heart. Something stirred deep inside him. “Be merciful to me oh God, for I am under attack,” David wrote in Psalm 56 when the Philistines in Gath surrounded him. “When I am afraid, I will trust in you.”
David recognized he needed to fully trust in his Lord for his safekeeping.
Sometimes we, too, prioritize taking care of our physical needs and asking other people for protection before turning to God.
With nowhere to run, David had to do some quick thinking. He pretended to be insane. He dribbled on his long beard, the symbol and pride of manhood. No doubt the men of Achish stepped away at this sight. In the ancient Far East, madness was a sign of being possessed by a god. People did not want to associate with a madman. He would be excluded from society, but allowed to live.
Sure enough, King Achish shunned his greatest foe. He threw David out of his court. Faking madness saved David’s life.
Yet, David gave credit for his escape to God. He acknowledged God got him out of the mess, not his quick thinking. God kept David safe even though David had relied on some holy bread, a fallen giant’s sword, and an enemy king.
David wrote the words of Psalm 34:8 while pretending to be insane: “Blessed is the man who takes refuge in God.”
- Even when we try to figure out things on our own, God still protects us.
- Even if trusting God in a difficult situation looks ridiculous, God is our best defense. David knew comical-looking trust allowed a young shepherd boy with a sling to kill a giant soldier in full body armor.
- Even if you think a situation will not turn out well, God will keep you safe.
Out at a restaurant with my son for Mother’s Day, I ordered a bowl of mussels. “Would you like to try one?” I asked. He put one on his fork. “Don’t look too closely,” I suggested, “just eat it.” He smiled. “It’s better than I expected,” he said.
Don’t miss out on tasting God’s goodness.
COMPEL Enhancement/Tip: I used Lysa Terkeurst’s teaching on spiritual depth in Three S’s of Connectivity Part 2.
Photos: Freefoto.com (available free to bloggers for non-commercial use)