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By Rev. Dr. Teresa Allissa Citro

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!

Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”

Psalms 34:8

King David is the author of this chapter. To better understand just how powerful this verse is allow me to explain, please. This beautiful chapter holds great meaning when we realize that it recounts the terrible situation that David found himself in as told in 1 Samuel 21:10-15. David was not king yet. He was on the run from King Saul who’s trying to murder him. In addition, David concocted an idea to keep himself from being recognized. He pretended to be insane.

King David hands down knew exactly who God was. You see, he had tasted of the goodness of the Lord. He knew without a doubt that God would take care of him, even as King Saul was out for his blood. David was going to see the goodness of the Lord in the midst of this terrible and scary time of his life.

He knew who God was. Therefore, he was expressing himself by using the word "taste." Let’s talk about the meaning of this word. Taste is the ability we have to tell the difference of flavors in our mouths. For example, sweet, sour, hot, salty, or bitter. It’s our sense of taste that's the ability to tell the difference. That’s really the key thing.

However, the word taste in the original Hebrew translation is much more deeper. It means more than just what you taste with your taste buds. Rather, it’s all about perceiving, discerning, recognizing, and observing.

Now the picture begins to widen. The words “taste” and “see” both mean to discern and perceive! Wow! Is it all coming together for you now? We need to always be on the lookout. Many things come our way. We must discern, realize, and comprehend who God really is.

King David, in essence, was saying the culmination of all that we know about God, and that our personal past experiences with Him give us the great insight (taste and see) into His absolute love, compassion, mercy, and protection over our lives. We know who He is. Therefore, we can count on His character to be who He says He is.

We know the living God apart from the false gods of this world. Let me share a little story to drive this point home.

Last night, a memory came to my mind. My daughter Ellianna was three years old. She was a thumb sucker. Everywhere I went, I always carried a bottle of water and two little towels. One soaked in soap, the other dry. I knew that the minute we got in the car that thumb would go in her mouth. Being the germ freak I am, I was prepared to keep that thumb of hers clean.

One day, she got a huge sore on her thumb. My mom called me, "Come home, Ellianna is very upset that she can’t suck her thumb. I can’t console her." I left my meeting immediately to go home. There she sat in the family room, waiting for me. Her little body on the couch, her curly blonde hair all over the side of her face. Her little hand was holding that thumb like it was going to fall off. Her panicked and tear-stained little face, with quivering little lips, was looking up at me to fix it. “Mommy, me can’t suck my thumb. Me don’t know what to do.” She was crying hysterically. I was trying so hard to console her to no avail.

Finally, out of desperation, I said, “Amore, ok. Use your other thumb. Just suck your other thumb. It’s all good.” Ellianna’s eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. A big smile was on her face, and her crying ended. She put her thumb in her mouth. I was thanking God for that great solution. I watched her face as she was trying to suck her other thumb. She was trying so hard. Her expression was telling me a story. Then, the inevitable happened. She pulls her thumb out of her mouth, crying hysterically, “Mommy, this one doesn’t taste so good. Me don’t like it, Mommy. Fix me thumb mommy, pease (for please) fix me thumb. What me do Mommy? Me can’t sleep mommy.”

As funny and cute as this story is, it has truth. Even though thumbs are thumbs, she knew the difference. It tasted different to her. You see, God is always steady, trustworthy, available, and true. We don’t need to worry that the taste will be different. We can always “see” His goodness. We will always “taste” His love. He is good all the time. David was steadfast in his declaration. He was absolutely convinced. Nothing changed for David.

This how we need to be, too. Ellianna at the age of three could taste and see there was a difference between her two thumbs. We, too, know the true living God. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” David said, “Taste and see the Lord is good.” It goes on to say, “blessed is the man,” meaning that you will be rewarded and saved from all your troubles.



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