“What would you like to taste?” said the owner of the newly opened shop near where I live. I looked at the array of cheese blocks and truckles, many I didn’t recognize, trying to make a decision. Eventually, I pointed to a soft white cheese with an orange rind named Oma. “I’ll try that,” I said. “Oh, that’s our favorite,” replied the man putting the cheese onto the counter. I felt pleased with myself for making such a good choice.
I took the creamy blob placed on a cracker. Pungent and sweet at the same time, the cheese melted in my mouth. The owner was right; Oma was delicious. By tasting the cheese I found out what he knew—the cheese was good.
Taste and see that the Lord is good. Psalm 34:8
In Psalm 34, David makes a similar offer: discover and take notice of God’s goodness in every circumstance of life.
David had gone through a tough time, but in it he saw God’s protection. As a result, David wrote this Psalm to encourage us to do the same. The story behind it is told in 1 Samuel 21:10-22:1.
On the run from King Saul, David fled to King Achish of the Philistines, Israel’s fiercest enemy. However, the Philistine soldiers recognized David as the esteemed warrior of Israel: “Isn’t this David, the king of the land? Isn’t he the one they sing about in their dances: ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands’?” Realizing his predicament, David had to think quickly. He pretended to be insane. Achish would take no notice of a man who seemed out of his mind. David’s plan worked, and he escaped.
David could have taken credit for his astute assessment of the situation and clever tactic to avoid capture, but instead he acknowledged God’s help. God got me out of a tight spot, he said.
However, David’s advice to us did not stop there: We must not only acknowledge, but also announce God’s goodness.
Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together, says Psalm 34:3 (NLT). I like how The Message puts it: Join me in spreading the news; together let’s get the word out.
I can recall times I’ve been afraid and I’ve cried out to God for help. And God has responded and rescued me. Yet I have not given my heavenly Father full recognition and praise for the good that has unfolded.
Instead, I talk about hard work and sensible decisions for getting out of financial debt. Or I praise good hospitals and experienced doctors who treated my seriously ill son.
God has been good to me, but often these are not the first words from my lips.
What stops us proclaiming God’s goodness? I have a couple of suggestions.
[dropcap]1.[/dropcap] Fear of seeming favored
If things are going well for me, but not for other people, then it looks like God has shown favor to me and not them.
Psalm 34:19 reminds us the righteous person may have many troubles. We all face difficulties. There is no favoritism with God.
[dropcap]2.[/dropcap] Fear of seeming flippant
Anyone can praise God when difficult situations turns out well..
But, what about giving thanks to God during the hard times? Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything says Ephesians 5:20. That’s not easy to do.
We need to practice giving thanks to God for his goodness more often. By doing so, perhaps we will start to view our situations differently, and our perspectives will change too.
If I recognize God’s goodness in relieving our financial debt, then I should become more appreciative and generous with what God has given me.
If I proclaim God’s goodness in taking care of my son, then I see he is precious to God so I should worry less and praise more.
However, announcing God’s goodness is not just for our own benefit; it is so other people will put their trust in God. We want them to taste and see. Just like the owner of the cheese shop.
I didn’t intend to buy any cheese that day, but by trying and discovering it was good, I walked out the door with a wedge of Oma, a lump of cheddar and a delightful little brie.
Read David’s story in 1 Samuel 21:10-22:1 and his response in Psalm 34. Bible Gateway is a fantastic tool for reading these verses in various translations.
Can you think of any situations where you have praised yourself or other people, instead of God?
Now think about that same situation and consider how God showed his goodness to you.
Practice speaking the truth and giving the God the glory. How does it change your attitude and perspective? Share in the comments something good that God has done for you recently.
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Linking up with Suzie Eller at #liveFree, Kelly Balarie at #RaRaLinkup, Holley Gerth at #CoffeeForYourHeart and Susan Mead at #DanceWithJesus
This really ministered to me. Thank you for pulling out the example of David! God blesses me each & everday. But the biggest blessing that is that I’m carrying another child in my womb.
Congratulations! That’s exciting. Thanks for sharing your blessing.
Taste and see.
I’m more likely to see first and then . . . maybe, taste.
I appreciate your illustration and application!
hmm…that’s an interesting thought. We do often base our tasting on what we see.
God can use anything or anybody to speak to us, even a chunk of cheese. It’s all about Him. There are so many things we don’t see as a fear, I never considered, the fear of being favored. Until recently, I didn’t even realize how much I was. He’s not a respecter of persons, He’ll do it for anyone. That’s His nature, that’s grace, now that’s favor.
You are so right, God’s grace and favor is for everyone. I just love that about God.
I just celebrated being married two years to my wonderful and caring husband. That might not sound like a great accomplishment, but for both of us this gift of God’s goodness is like a crown after a long and difficult race (for both of us in previous marriages). I want to, like the Message version says, “Get the word out!” Though I went through a long, dark valley, God was faithful to walk me THROUGH and bless me on the other side. I want others to taste and see that the Lord is good! Great stuff here Rachel 🙂
Bev, sounds like you have a wonderful story to share of God’s faithfulness and goodness. I pray God gives you the opportunity to share his goodness with many people. I know he will. Congratulations on your anniversary.
Rachel, this is so true! I am guilty of number one all the time. I want so much to tell others about a healing or answered prayer I received, but I hesitate because of those I see suffering through difficult trials. You explained it so perfectly here, but I’d never realized it before. Those thoughts are just keeping me from sharing of God’s goodness with others, and I need to let go of that doubt and proclaim Him first! Blessings to you today:)
Kristine, thanks so much. At first I hesitated when I wrote that point. But, now I’m glad I did. 🙂 Blessings to you too.
I am fast to thank other people, but I do not thank God for His goodness. Praising Him is something that I need to be more deliberate about in 2016. Thanks for the inspiration.
Me too. I need constant reminders. If we keep trying, hopefully it will become a habit. 🙂
I really like your illustration here. This is my first time visiting your blog. What drew me to read was the title! 🙂 I was preparing my heart to take Communion a couple of weeks ago, confessing doubts and fears to the Lord beforehand. As I partook of the bread and juice, the Lord dropped into my heart..”taste and see that the Lord is good”…it was a very special time of joy. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and bringing to mind again how wonderfully good the Lord is!
So glad you visited Karen. I love moments with the Lord like you describe. When God speaks to us so clearly it is beautiful and uplifting.
Rachel, this is good encouragement, friend! I often fall into #2, afraid I’ll sound flippant or superspiritual. Your post reminds me that often I give thanks to God for good, things, but I fail to share my good news and blessings with others, so they can buy the cheese too! (Just kidding, so they can recognize God.)
Yesterday God gave our family a lovely road trip, just an hour and a half each way to see my son and celebrate my husband’s birthday!
Betsy, how lovely to visit your son and thank you for sharing your blessing. I know how special that must have been. Grateful for you and the opportunity to get to know you more.
You have left me hungry for a soft creamy cheese with an orange rind covering!Taste and see God’s goodness sounds so much more persuasive than “luck” – and to those who cannot see beyond their own struggles to see that others have struggles – just different struggles – it is a hard sell – because they don’t see/believe God’s favoritism reaches to them – and, yet, that is when we need to press in with God’s praise more! Your post is soul-nutritious!
“Discover and take notice of God’s goodness in every circumstance of life.” So important for me to remember and do. And I also need to share that with others. Thank you for this valuable reminder. Joining you from Coffee for Your Heart.