Sermon:
1 I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
let the humble hear and be glad.
3 O magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me,
and delivered me from all my fears.
5 Look to him, and be radiant;
so your faces shall never be ashamed.
6 This poor soul cried, and was heard by the LORD,
and was saved from every trouble.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
8 O taste and see that the LORD is good;
happy are those who take refuge in him.
Psalm 34: 1-8 (NRSV)

What kind of person writes words like that? Quite obviously it was someone who knew Yahweh very well. Many scholars think the writer was King David. If you recall your Bible stories, David was a shepherd in his youth, spending lots of time praising God with songs while keeping one eye on the wolves that wanted lamb chops. David and Yahweh were on the same page.

Now that is an important bit of information; when you want to know something about a person, you ask the person who knows him well. David and the LORD, Yahweh were “tight” – and if you want to know how to have a good relationship with God, David is not a bad place to start.

In verse 8 of our text David gives us the equation that leads to a great blessedness, or happiness in God. He says:

O taste and see that the LORD is good;
happy are those who take refuge in him

Background

After young David killed Goliath he became a friend to the Israelite King Saul. At one point however, Saul became very jealous of David and his anger turned against him. Most scholars agree this Psalm was written to celebrate God’s protection for David when he was being chased all over the countryside by an angry King Saul. Note David’s testimony:

4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me,
and delivered me from all my fears.
6 This poor soul cried, and was heard by the LORD,
and was saved from every trouble.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.

So David knew what it was like to be “hero AND zero”. And that is usually the qualifying factor that gives one the insight to give advice on a matter; in this case – how to have a right relationship with Yahweh; how to be blessed:

O taste and see that the LORD is good;
happy are those who take refuge in him

Let’s unpack those words.

Taste

To “taste” here is literally to perceive by experiencing. It involves a conscious decision to be involved. I recall a TV commercial years ago for Life cereal. Some boys were reluctant to taste the new cereal their Mom had brought home, so they tried it on their little brother, Mikey.

This is so like the issue of a relationship with God. Many people are more than willing to give their opinion about God without first knowing
Malo Bel
May 15, 2013
Hi. Thought this post might interest you - The Honey-flavored God. It talks about what the food channel can teach us about God. www.malobel.com/blog