Is Your Appetite for the Lord?
We are fast approaching the holidays. For many of us, there is nothing more exciting than the time of year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I remember as a teenager, loving to go shopping in downtown Gallipolis during this season. They played Christmas carols on the street that was decorated in glistening reds and greens. All the store windows twinkled and sparkled with creative decorations. The stores were filled with beautiful decorations, wonderful trees, and often smells that enticed you to come in and spend a while in their store. Going from store to store hunting for the best deal on the most perfect gift excited everyone of my senses. However, because the shopping season starts so early anymore and we do so much convenient online shopping, we may have become dull to all the excitement of the season. Nevertheless, we are about to enter that time of year when our senses are on overload with all the sounds, sights, touches, smells and tastes. Who knows, maybe the pandemic will make us more aware of all that is around us during this season in 2020.
Probably the sense we use the most during this month-long time of celebration is taste. We have parties with friends and co-workers and family. And the only difference is the amount of food and drink that is available. Think about it – when we use our God given sense of taste, we have the opportunity to take in and experience the pleasures of eating what the Lord has given us. The Lord placed taste buds in our mouths that let us explore all the subtleties or maybe complexities of the food we are tasting. For those of you who have well defined palettes, you can taste the spices that are used and the fusion of all the things that have been put into a dish. While Thanksgiving is still a few weeks away, we all know it’s filled with sights and smells that get our taste buds working overtime.
Thanksgiving usually evokes thoughts of giving thanks to God for his many blessings. It is also a time to remember Psalm 34: 8 that begins “O taste and see that the Lord is good.” Now, obviously this verse is not talking about a physical, literal act of tasting or eating the Lord. Rather it’s a picture, using our sense of taste to talk about experiencing God in a special intimate way. An experience where He is taken in and savored, enjoyed, treasured, appreciated, and cherished.
In 1869, Thomas Binney wrote, “There are some things, especially in the depths of the Christian life, which can only be understood by being experienced, and which even then are incapable of being adequately embodied in words. O taste and see that the Lord is good. The enjoyment must come before the illumination; or rather the enjoyment is the illumination. There are things that must be loved before we can know them to be worthy of our love; things to be believed before we can understand them to be worthy of belief.”
It’s important for us to give thanks; the Lord loves it when we give thanks, but it is just as important to take Him in and experience Him on the most intimate of levels. God is, kind, merciful, and gracious. The goodness of God spoken of here in Psalm 34:8a includes both the sweetness and generosity of His nature, and the abundance of His. In asking us to taste and see this, the psalmist means that we should seriously, thoroughly consider all that we know about our God and then put the matter to the test of experience. There is no other way of really knowing how good God is. So, during this season of unlimited sensory overload, remember to taste of the Lord, for He is what is truly good!