In Psalm 34:8 we read, “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” In this verse “taste and see” does not mean that we are to check the Lord’s credentials, but rather it is a warm invitation to “Try this, I know that you will like it.” Compare this to what we are taught in 1 Peter 2:1-3, “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” As we trust in the Lord daily, laying aside all of those things that would otherwise hinder our spiritual growth, we will come to experience just how good and truly wonderful He is.
We read further in Psalm 34:9-10, “O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.” And in Psalm 31:23-24 we read, “O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.” We say and believe that we belong to the Lord, but do we truly fear Him? To fear the Lord does not indicate that we stand before Him trembling, but rather it means that we show deep respect and honor to Him – we reverence Him.
We demonstrate true reverence by our humble attitude and our genuine worship. Throughout the Scriptures we learn that reverence was shown by many different people. Each of them had varied reactions when they were in the presence of the Lord, but all deeply respected Him, and because of their respect, they were each richly blessed. For example, in Genesis 17:1-8 we read of the reverence that Abraham showed:
1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,
4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.
7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
Another example of one who demonstrated true reverence was Moses. We read the following account in Exodus 3:1-10:
1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.
2 And the aangel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
4 And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.
5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.
7 And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;
8 And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.
10 Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.
David states that “there is no want to them that fear him [the Lord]”. He also states that “they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.” We may question what David is saying because at times it may appear that even though we seek the Lord and reverence Him, there are still may things that we lack in our lives. What we fail to realize is that this is not a blanket statement that David is making that every Christian will always have everything that he wants or desires. Rather, this is David’s praise for the Lord’s goodness in his life. The life lesson that David is teaching us here is that those who call upon the Lord in their hour of need will be answered and sometimes in unexpected ways. We need to remember that the Lord knows what we need even before we ask Him and He knows our deepest needs are spiritual. Many Christians, even when faced with unbelievable poverty and hardships still maintain enough spiritual nourishment to continue to live for the Lord. David was saying to have the Lord is all that we really need. The Lord is enough! If we ever feel that we don’t have everything that we need, we should ask ourselves these questions:
- Is this really something that I absolutely need?
- Is this really good for me to have?
- Is there perhaps a better time for me to obtain that which I desire?
- Is it best to wait?
Even if we are able to answer yes to all of the above questions, the Lord may allow us to go without to help us learn to be more dependent on Him. He may be trying to teach us that we need Him more than our immediate desires.
In Psalm 34:11-14 we read, “Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord. What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” (See also James 1:26; Romans 14:18-19; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 3:10-12). David feared the Lord and for the most part chose the way of goodness and peace. He even treated some of his enemies with kindness (see 1 Samuel 24:1-8; 26:5-25).
Scriptures often connect the fear of the Lord with obedience. For example in Ecclesiastes 12:13, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” And in John 14:23, “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
The Lord promises great blessings to His people. In Psalm 34, for example, we learn that He has promised to:
- Free us from fear (34:4)
- Deliver us from trouble (34:6)
- Guard us (34:7)
- Show us kindness (34:8)
- Supply our needs (34:9)
- Listen when we talk with him (34:15)
- Redeem us (34:22)
And also in Psalm 34, we learn that we can appreciate those blessings when we:
- Seek Him (34:4, 10)
- Cry out to Him (34:6, 17)
- Trust Him (34:8)
- Fear Him (34:7, 9)
- Keep from lying (34:13)
- Turn from sin, do good, and seek peace (34:14)
- Have humble hearts (34:18)
- Serve Him (34:22)
David said that a person who fears the Lord doesn’t lie, turns from sin, does good, and promotes peace. Reverence is much more than sitting quietly in church. It includes obeying the Lord in the way we speak, as well as, the way that we treat others. We are encouraged to fear and trust the Lord, and to exemplify faith, truth, obedience, and goodness in our lives. As we do these things and apply them to our own lives, not only will we be richly blessed, but we will then be able to warmly invite others to “taste and see that the Lord is good”.