“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusts in Him.”
One thing I considered when I read the above verse was how much my taste in food has changed as I’ve matured into an adult. When I was younger, I despised peppers, onions and tomatoes. I would only eat sandwiches on white bread. I thought yellow mustard was my kryptonite. I once punched our puppy, just so I would get sent to my room so I wouldn’t have to eat my vegetables! Okay, that’s a lie, but I hope you get my point. Today, I look at a corn dog without mustard and cry, “Injusticia!” If I’m making a PB&J, the heartier, grainier the wheat bread the better! I was even a vegetarian for two years and learned to love peppers, onions, and you guessed it, even tomatoes.
In order to know how good the LORD is, we must experience his goodness for ourselves. This can never be fully realized through the explanation of others. You wouldn’t expect a detailed description of a delicious meal to satisfy a hungry person right? It’s the same reason you can’t really trust movie reviews. You’ll never know how a film is going to affect you until you sit down in the theater and watch it. The truth is in the experience itself. I know so many believers who rob themselves of a deeper, truer experience of God’s love and presence because they rely on second hand contact with him. They listen to the sermon on Sunday. They watch others engage in worship or service. They bow their heads and listen to others’ prayers, and they wonder why they feel far from the LORD.
To know the LORD’s goodness, he has blessed us with his Word. Some parts of it can be easier to jump into and enjoy than others. For me, the tales of Israel’s Judges, or of David and his “Mighty Men” were exciting, slightly terrifying, and struck a chord in me. They were like the honey, immediately sweet and satisfying. However, there were other parts of the Word that were not as immediately appealing. But just as exposure, personal growth and maturity changed me to recognize and enjoy the savory and subtle, yet still very appealing flavors of the foods I hated as a child–God’s Holy Spirit grows us to see the value of Scripture. The Spirit opens our eyes and our hearts to understand. It pushes us, prods us, and convicts us as we open ourselves to God’s Word.
Hebrews 4:12 says that God’s Word is alive and active and imagines it to be like a sword, sharper than the sharpest one you could imagine. Sharp enough to pierce through our doubt or our lack of understanding. Sharp enough to divide the truth from the untruth. We can’t expect to experience Scripture correctly just once. We must return, again and again, to meditate on it, wrestle with it and allow God’s Spirit to mature us and change us through the process. Then we will taste and see the LORD’s goodness, and nothing can ever compare with that.
Find a time in your day that you can set aside for the LORD. Open your Bible and read it! Jesus said that his sheep recognize his voice. How about you? How can we know his voice if we don’t know his Word?
Reach out to someone in your family or church to help you establish good Bible study practices.
Try an online resource like Sacred Space to help you be more consistent in your devotional life.