“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.
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.