“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” (Psalm 34:8)
The words,“O taste and see that the LORD is good”, bring a flood of childhood memories. My mother often tried at mealtime to bring something different to our usually ordinary fare. She would search for new recipes that could be made with ingredients that she had available. When a new dish would appear, we would always ask, “What does it taste like?”. My father, with a twinkle in his eye, would respond, “About like owl.” That nonsensical phrase got the point across. We would laugh and then taste to see for ourselves.
To the unbeliever the words “O taste and see” are an invitation to get to know the Lord firsthand. We are asked to take a trial, an inward experiential trial, of the goodness of God. You cannot see except by tasting for yourself, but if you taste you shall see “that the Lord is good”. You can only know the Lord personally by experience.
“O taste and see” is used here in the sense of examination, or testing by experience. The idea is that by putting trust in God and by testing the comforts of faith, one would thoroughly see or perceive the blessings of it. We would then find so much blessing that we would be led to seek His goodness altogether.
A well-known saying in my circle of acquaintances carries the same sentiment as Psalm 34:8: “The proof of the pudding is in the eating”. A personal relationship with the Lord comes to us when we test Him by experience, when we taste and see that the He is good. Trapp’s Commentary says, “With the mouth of your mind and with the eyes of your faith, perceive and experience the goodness of God”.
In calling us to taste and see, the psalmist indicates that we should seriously, thoroughly, and warmly consider this invitation of the Lord. This is opposed to those slight and vanishing thoughts that men usually have of divine goodness. It is not sufficient that we find Him to be a bountiful benefactor to us, but we must take delight in His goodness. We must be so convinced and persuaded of His goodness that we are encouraged even in the worst of times, to trust in Him, and cast our care upon Him.
“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103)
~ Brother Roy