>Meditation Marathon, Psalm 34:4-10

>The Lord continues to impress his truths from Psalm 34 on my mind. This is the Psalm that contains those well-known words: “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!” (verse 8).

Tasting and seeing involves two senses. A valuable writing insight I learned from Jeanette Windle in a seminar she taught at the 2008 HACWN Writers Conference: to make a scene come alive, incorporate multiple senses.

God does this in Psalm 34. Not only can we experience the goodness of God as a delectable delight, but we also can experience God’s goodness as a beautiful view. This “extra-sensory” description conveys the blessing and beauty of God’s bountiful goodness.

The plea to taste and see God’s goodness follows a heartfelt confession of God’s faithful provision and protection:

I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them (4-7).

The Lord hears us when we cry to him. He answers us and delivers us. When the concerns and anxieties of this world threaten to choke us, God delivers us from all of them. Because he does this, we can look to him with faces that reflect his radiance, with faces that will never be eternally vanquished and shamed. The grip of sin around our necks has been broken and we freely breathe in God’s redemptive breath. Our purple faces lighten and brighten with joy.

Like the modern confessional poets, the Psalmist confesses his personal story. “This poor man” cried out to God and God heard him! He delivered him, not just from some, but from all of his troubles!

“The angel of the LORD” is often used in the Old Testament to indicate the pre-incarnate Christ. Christ doesn’t merely drop in for a brief visit when we’re in distress; he camps out at our place. And he isn’t merely walking beside us; he surrounds us with his love and protection. His powerful protection isn’t merely defensive; he goes on the offense to deliver all those who love and honor him.

No wonder the Psalmist breaks into multi-sensory praise!

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing (8-10).

When we take refuge in the Lord, we are blessed. When we love and honor him, we lack nothing. We may not have everything we want, or even everything we think we need, but God knows what we really need. We will never lack the blessings of eternal life and the blessings of already living in hope.

A strong lion at the peak of his prime can easily attack and bring down his prey. I don’t know about you, but this old lady feels quite the opposite from a young lion. Yet even that young lion may fail to find food and will go hungry. But God cares for this old lady. He promises that all those who seek him will not lack any good thing.

May God grant that today you will taste and see God’s goodness in your life. May your radiant face never be ashamed because it is turned toward God. May the angel of the Lord encamp around you and deliver you out of all your troubles. May you seek God’s will and never lack any good thing!

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