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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Finding Jesus In The Psalms: Taste & See by Shane & Shane

Taste and See Today

I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. . . . Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! (Psalm 34:1–2, 8)
The circumstances in which David wrote these words were anything but good (1 Samuel 19). David has not yet been declared king (2 Samuel 5). He was being ruthlessly hunted by the current king of Israel, a man of incredible power and resources, as well as even more jealousy and anger. As the crowds sang, “Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands” (1 Samuel 18:7), Saul’s blood boiled and gave birth to a craving to kill the prized son of Jesse.
Saul sent men after David to kill him, but they loved David (1 Samuel 19:1). So, in a moment of rage, he launched his own spear at the young man (19:10). David narrowly escapes and flees. But if the enemy at home was not enough, he runs into the hands of another in nearby Gath. Achish the king of Gath immediately becomes jealous and hostile toward David. So David pretends to be insane so that they will not kill him and, as a result, they let him go.
And leaving that city of hostility and heading back out into a world of opposition and danger, David writes, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8).

Delivered From All Our Fears

David was facing a thousand more problems than Achish of Gath, but that didn’t keep him from celebrating the grace of God in this answered prayer. He was able to keep all the cares of the world at bay long enough to say, “I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears”(Psalm 34:4).
All your fears, David? After he escaped from Gath, Saul slaughtered all the priests at Nob because of David (1 Samuel 22:18). Then Saul pursued David into the wilderness to kill him (1 Samuel 23:15). Eventually, David is forced to return to Gath again (1 Samuel 27:2). They receive him for a while this time, but then the Philistines hated him again and cast him out (1 Samuel 29:11). Then his wives and the other women were captured in a raid (1 Samuel 30:2), and his own people turned on him to stone him to death (1 Samuel 30:6). God had not delivered him from everything he feared.
But he had delivered him today. Faith in a sovereign and gracious God freed David to rejoice and give thanks in today’s deliverance, today’s victory, today’s mercy.

Grace for Today, Bright Hope for Tomorrow

That is the weak, wounded, and invincible song of Psalm 34. Worship the God of all wisdom and all power, who created and governs the whole universe, and who cares for the daily needs of each of his children. Take refuge in the God whose eyes “are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry”(Psalm 34:15).
When stress and disappointment and fear begin to drown our hope and joy in God, Jesus encourages us to be Davids,
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:31–33)
God’s new mercy meets us each morning (Lamentations 3:22–23), and most of the time we’re too consumed by tomorrow’s trouble to even notice. David models stopping even in the midst of ongoing uncertainty and distress to celebrate daily grace, and he calls us to join him in that peace and confidence.
Like a great Father-King, God plans to pour out everything at his disposal to keep you from everything threatening your eternity with him and to satisfy you fully and forever with himself. It may not always be safe or pain-free or clear to you in the moment, but he will bring you to a never-ending life you wouldn’t trade for anything. Focus on the ways — small or large — he has lovingly cared for you today — taste and see that he really is good — and trust him for that grace to come again tomorrow.

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