One of the things that distinguished the Hebrews in the Old Testament from the surrounding cultures was that their God was always with them wherever they went. He wasn’t a regional deity like the gods of the other tribal groups. The other tribes and cultures worshiped whatever gods were in the area at the time; when they went to a new place they had to find out who the regional gods were in that area and learn how to appease them. Not so with the Hebrew God…He traveled with the Hebrew people as they went on their journeys. Christianity goes even further in distinguishing us from adherents of other religions; our God lives in us. Our God isn’t a God who is far away. He is a God who loves us; who wants to know us intimately; who often guides us from within. Today, let’s take a few moments to consider how radical this idea really is:
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. (Psalm 34:8)
I have always loved this passage. The Message version of the Bible says it this way: “Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see how good God is.” Wow! I love that. God has given us five senses: taste, touch, smell, hearing, and seeing. I wouldn’t want to live without any one of those senses. What’s interesting about taste is that we have to put something into our mouths to experience it. When you smell something it can be far away. You can see or hear things that are far off, as well. Even touching takes place on the outside of your body. But in order to taste something we have to take it into ourselves. In today’s passage, the Lord beckons us to “Taste and see.” Jesus promised His disciples that He was sending the Holy Spirit and that the Holy Spirit would be in us. Now that’s intimacy with God! Our God isn’t a distant energy force—He’s in us. Today, I challenge you to taste and see that God is good. Be with Him. Open your heart to Him. Experience for yourself the amazing, overwhelming goodness of God.
We can taste and we can see...and that's very Good News!