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A Taste of God's Goodness

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth... O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man who trusteth in him. Ps 34:1,8a


Every lasting relationship begins with trust. Genuine trust is based on experience. In order to trust, we must believe that the object of our trust is trustworthy. This is true not only in human relationships but also in our relationship with God. We trust him because he has demonstrated his faithfulness in our lives. The psalmist David knew about trusting God. Though anointed to be king at a young age, David endured years of adversity and opposition. Yet, David’s confidence in God remained constant. Some of his greatest psalms of praise were written during times of crisis or distress.

Psalm 34 is a favorite psalm of trust and praise. Interestingly, the psalm was written in one of the more difficult periods of David’s life. The subtitle connects this psalm with I Samuel 21:10-15, where David “changed his behavior” in the presence of servants of King Achish. David was in a precarious situation. Although he was God's chosen leader, He was being pursued by Saul, the man who occupied the position David had been anointed to fill. Saul was insanely jealous of David and wanted to kill him. David fled to Gath, a territory of the Philistines, for protection. However, the servants of Achish, king of Gath, recognized David as Israel’s king and the man who killed tens of thousands of Philistines in battle (I Sam. 21:11). When David realized that he was in danger, he chose a peculiar way of escape.

Although he was a valiant warrior, David did not rely on his military skill when facing this situation. Instead, he cries out to God. Rather than asking God to destroy his enemy, David prayed to be delivered from his fears. David personifies his fears, saying that they (his fears) looked to the Lord and were lightened (v. 5). David "sought the Lord," who answered his prayer. The text implies that David received instruction as a result of seeking God. I Samuel describes the unpredictable outcome. David pretended to be insane, crawling around on the ground, scratching, and drooling like a dog. Although the strategy was unconventional, it was effective. When King Achish saw his unusual behavior, he dismissed him from his presence.



It is hard to imagine that in such a circumstance, David’s first thoughts were those of praise. But he pens this psalm in which he vows to “bless the Lord at all times” (v. 1). David recognized a powerful truth. God is worthy of praise whether we are exalted or brought low. This episode in David’s life is instructive for us. First, it shows that God hears us when we cry out to him (v. 4) and delivers us in times of trouble (v. 6). When David did not know what to do, he sought the Lord. In response, God delivered him from his fears and gave him a strategy that helped him escape death. God could have easily destroyed David’s enemies as he had in the past. Instead, he used this situation to build David’s confidence and to inspire us.

Second, it teaches us the nature of praise. True praise is rooted in a deep, abiding trust in God and an unshakeable confidence that recognizes both his goodness (mercy) and his faithfulness (dependability). David makes it clear that blessing God is not reserved for positive experiences. In his time of trouble, David found that God blesses those who trust him (v. 8). David is careful to maintain that God’s deliverance is reserved for the “righteous” (vs. 15, 17) and that those who trust in him will never be forsaken (v. 22). David's experience of God's goodness was so tangible he calls the reader to "taste" and “see” it.

The psalm invites us to experience God’s goodness at a level that David likens to tasting. Taste can be a sensation, as in perceiving and enjoying the flavor of a substance. Taste is also the ability to distinguish or discern the quality of something. This verse can be applied in both senses. The reader is invited to savor the Lord’s goodness when reflecting on what he has done and also to judge the Lord’s character through the lens of experience. In this and many other of his psalms, David acknowledges that God’s actions on his behalf were abundantly benevolent and gracious.


Life is filled with difficult situations. As believers, we are not exempt from life’s trials but are assured of God’s presence, power, and deliverance, regardless of the circumstance. Once we have experienced God's goodness, we should want others to experience it as well.





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James Woodley
James Woodley
05 jun 2023

This word you shared today was a blessing and encouragement

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Ruth Smith
Ruth Smith
05 jun 2023

Powerful word!

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