“Taste and see that the Lord is good” Psalm 34:8 (NIV)
“Like newborn infants, long for the spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation -if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” 1 Peter 2:2-3 (ESV)
To taste and see that the Lord is good is a primary element of the foundation of a Christian. We cannot pursue something that we do not at all enjoy. We can draw from the example of the woman at the well given in John chapter 4. Jesus approached a Samaritan woman at a well and asked her to give him a drink. She responded to him by telling him that the well was too deep and that she had nothing to draw with, and Jesus responded to her by asking her to go and call her husband. The conversation ended with Jesus revealing that he knew she had 5 husbands, and he proceeded to offer her a certain water, which would never leave her to thirst again. Jesus was explaining to this woman that she would not regret the pursuit of him.
While so many things are fundamental to the Christian walk, I personally consider this to be among the most critical, because things will always compete for our affections, even good things. Yes, good things can compete for our affections with Christ. How many times does the Lord bless us and we exalt the gift above the giver? So many times we commit the sin of idolatry because our spiritual taste buds have grown so fond of temporal matters. We enjoy them so much, are comforted in the here and now, thus we inadvertently fail to acknowledge the Father. It is only because we have forgotten to enjoy Him.
To taste and see that the Lord is good is to have an understanding, even a revelation, that he is the greatest and most wonderful thing happening on this earth. Think of the thing that you most enjoy! Jesus is that and more to you!
Enjoying Makes It Easier:
If we enjoy the Lord more, then less and less will we place things above Him. Not only so, but we will arrive at the conclusion that being part of the kingdom of God does not require striving (Mathew 11:28-30). It is so easy to get into the habit of working for the Lord. The common belief that “If I work for Him, I will be worthy of Him”, that we succumb to as Christians is like bringing sacrifices to the Lord and is all too shallow for our glorious God. I believe the saying that “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever” (John Piper). I also firmly believe that glorifying God is directly proportional to our enjoyment of Him.
I have experienced this reality first-hand in my ordinary living. Not even can I write these things except by first spending time alone with Jesus and marveling at him. A primary inspiration for this passage was actually returning home from my vacation with a dear friend. I had time to reflect on her gentle spirit and absorb the scenic pasture of rural Kentucky. I was part of her family for four days. Upon entering her home, the roaring laughter of her siblings enveloped me with a warm welcome. This was also accompanied by firm handshakes. I could tell that she and her siblings have enjoyed the riches of such an innocent world, though not with the exception of hard work and responsibilities. Each day, from the time the sun rose, the house was filled with the aroma of delicious meals and the coziness of so many loving spirits. I cannot articulate how at home I felt. I can tell that I was reminded of the simplicity of being a child of God. He is the source and the enrichment of everything good. He is a warm invitation to enjoy.