December 19, 2016
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good . . .
There as many definitions for the term “Evangelical” out there as there are newscasters who are clueless about faith. (And that’s a lot) But most of those definitions – the ones that get close to the mark, anyway, include the notion that an “Evangelical” Christian is one who has had a personal experience of God: a deliverance, a healing, an answered desperate prayer. Someone who at one juncture or another – usually in dire straits – bets the ranch on God. That is, gives up the mask and the anxious, selfish effort and rests in God. Follows God’s orders to trust Him.
If we accept that part of the definition, then when we read this Psalm we have to say that David – or whoever wrote this one – was an “evangelical.” This Psalm is about personal experience with the Almighty: “I sought the Lord and He answered me. . . .” It is about answered prayer and deliverance from trouble. I guess that really does not distinguish this particular psalm. Lots of them are like that.
But what does distinguish it – if not “in kind” then in degree, at least – is this memorable verse that appeals to our senses:
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good
Yeah. It’s really like that. The personal experience of God is so real that it can be “tasted.” And, yes, the verse does tell us that we have to “take a bite.” That is, we have to make some volitional act. We have to “try it out.” That means trusting. And it means giving up the mask.