Summary: When we have a right relationship with Jesus Christ, everything about life will be sweeter.
Tasting of the Goodness of God
by Pastor Jim May
Has anyone here ever tasted Castor Oil? Good “stuff”, isn’t it? Well, it was good for what ailed you anyway! No one takes this wonderful medicine anymore because through the miracles of modern science we have discovered far more effective medicines to treat the same symptoms that Castor Oil would treat, but the new ones taste so much better.
Sometimes the taste of something belies its real value. In our modern society we see every kind of diet that you can imagine.
· South Beach Diet
· The Zone Diet
· Low Carb Atkins Diet
· Negative Calorie Diet
· Cabbage Soup Diet
· Mayo Clinic Diet
· Mediterranean Diet
· Diabetic Diet
The problem with all these diets is that we are all subject to eat what tastes good and leave what tastes bad on the plate. And, everyone’s sense of taste is different. Cabbage, spinach and broccoli might taste great to some of us, but to the rest of you, I can already see you gagging.
Down through the years there have been a lot of changes in what people were eating. Some things that we considered as taboo in the past have become acceptable and even desirable today. I wonder what everyone else thought when the first person to eat and egg said, “The next thing that comes out of that chicken, I’m going to eat.” I think he must have been pretty hungry at the time. But there are other examples of eating, and tasting of different foods that have changed the way we eat forever.
Let me give you an example as we talk about “Love Apples”.
In the year 1820, a crowd of curious people gathered around the county courthouse in Salem, New Jersey. The county fair was in progress, and the people massed around the stage, pushing and shoving to get a good place to see what was going to happen. The crowd was filled with anticipation because they were about to witness a daring feat.
Soon a man appeared on the steps, holding in one hand a beautiful red-ripe fruit which had been part of the fair’s decorations. Members of the crowd whispered excitedly to one another as he held it up for them to see.
"Is he really going to eat it?" some asked, as though they expected the answer to be absolutely not.
The man on the stage was Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson and the fruit was - a tomato. Tomatoes were called love apples in those days and they were considered to be deadly poison. Love apples were tokens of courtship or lawn decorations. Young men gave them to their girl friends, who would afterward wear the seeds in sachets around their necks. The fruit was admired for its beauty, but no one would dream of eating it.
The crowd gasped in horror as the colonel deliberately placed the tomato in his mouth, and ate it as though it was better than candy. They waited breathlessly, expecting to see him writhing in agony, dying on the stage.
But nothing like that happened. Instead - he ate a second tomato, explaining that tomatoes were delicious either cooked or raw. He praised their color and texture. Then he invited the onlookers to join him in his meal, and a few of the braver ones went forward. Soon they too were pronouncing the tomatoes good.
The news spread rapidly, and eventually tomatoes graced most of the tables of the world, an accepted article of diet everywhere.
If Colonel Johnson had not eaten that tomato, it is possible that people would still be admiring "love apples" and shrinking with horror from the thought of tasting how good they are.
Living a Christian life is much the same. We seem to take what tastes good to us, such as the Love, Grace, Mercy and Provision of God, and then leave that which tastes bitter, such as Discipline, Commitment, Obedience and being a Servant to our neighbor. The fact is that many Christians spend all their lives claiming to love Jesus, admiring his life, accepting his work, but never really tasting of Christ personally. David, in Psalms challenged us all to "taste and see that the Lord is good."
Psalms 34:8, "O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him."
It seems to me that David is standing there saying, “Just go ahead and prove me wrong. God is a loving, gracious and wonderful God and all of His ways, and all of His words, are sweet to the soul and spirit.”
Psalms 119:103, "How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"
How great is the Lord in us! He has taken that old sinful rotten stinking heart and made it brand new. He has taken away the load of smelly sin that held us chained in a prison of death and lifted that sin off of us. He lifted us out of the miry clay where we were stuck fast and sucked in by the power of the devil over our lives, and He has planted our feet on the Solid Rock. How wonderful is the life of the Redeemed and we should shout it from the housetop.