Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Italian, Mexican, French or even the cuisine God himself blesses: southern barbecue. These cuisines don’t grab our girls’ attention or, when they were younger, open up the hanger to ensure the food airplane has a safe landing. Truth be told, over the years, dinner at our house often turns into a battle of wills, especially with our youngest daughter, Paige. My wife and I want so desperately to expand her pallet. Sadly, we often underestimate her stubbornness to stick with what she knows and trusts.
When we introduce something new to the dinner menu, she holds her ground. Even though she hasn’t tasted it, she is already convinced this new item is, in her words, yucky and gross. We urge her to just take a bite and see because we know that if she tastes it, this item will skyrocket to the top of her “approved food” list. Instead she stares at her plate, pushes her food around with her fork and says, “no thanks, I don’t want to.” This protest has nothing to do with her mom’s cooking. My wife is an amazing cook and this isn’t even a cheap ploy to earn brownie points in hopes of her whipping up a batch of those delicious chocolate treats later. But, if she by chance is reading this I wouldn’t be opposed to you ‘Betty Crockering’ up.
Paige’s fickleness to new foods shouldn’t come as a surprise. Just like everyone else, she is resistant of what she doesn’t know. Take for instance how someone exploring the Christian faith or even a new believer approaches the Bible. They’re tentative, unsure and apprehensive. However, they desperately desire some words of wisdom. Not knowing where to start, they flip to some random book in the Bible and begin reading. Instead of timeless truths that unlock the mysteries of life, the first scripture they read sounds something like this:
If you bring a bird as a burnt offering to the Lord, choose either a turtledove or a young pigeon. (Leviticus 1:14) They are like wild waves of the sea, churning up the dirty foam of their shameful deeds. They are wandering stars, heading for everlasting gloom and darkness. (Jude 1:13) And the Lord says, “Bodies will be scattered across the fields like dung, or like bundles of grain after the harvest. No one will be left to bury them.” (Jeremiah 9:22)
They bulldoze their way through a few more verses hoping it gets better, but pretty soon they are waving the white flag in surrender. As they ponder what burnt offerings of turtledoves mean to their marriage or how they treat their kids, feelings of hopelessness, confusion, and frustration begin to take over. Now let’s be honest, we have all felt this way at one time or another. The uneasiness of how to approach the Bible is not resigned to new believers. We’ve heard how Scripture is living and active, but that is far from what we often experience. This does not negate the truth, but rather exposes a greater problem on our part.
We desire to get connected with God, but there are so many things that get in the way or discourage us. Our schedules are jam-packed and it is impossible to squeeze God in. Everywhere you turn there is someone vying for your attention or needing something. If we get around to reading the Bible, it’s often rushed and scattered. Our mind might be present at the moment, but our heart is distant. Sadly, sometimes we treat spending time with God similar to grocery shopping or cleaning the bathroom as if it was nothing more than something to be checked of the ‘to do’ list.
When reading the Bible, a submissive heart and attentive ears are a must. Top this off with a heavy dose of vulnerability and transparency, and it is easy to see why we aren’t tuned into the Spirit speaking to us through His Word and letting Him shape our values. To taste and see that the Lord is good means we have to approach the text with not only our heart and mind, but our life as well. We have to be willing to allow God to speak to us on His terms and according to His purposes.
This can be a scary venture especially if you are sitting at the table in this way for the very first time. Scripture has the ability to reveal where we are resistant to faith as well as exposing our dark tendencies to use God. Tucked away in that 2 Timothy 3:16-17 is a promise. Scripture can change us. It can make us competent and equipped for every good work. Christ’s heart can become our own. Yet, this can only happen if we are receptive to receiving His word and acting upon it.
- How willing are you to “taste and see” that the Lord is good? What are you doing with this invitation?
- Does the vulnerability and transparency required of the Bible make it a place of refuge or a place of discomfort for you?
God, I will never figure out what truly matters apart from knowing You. May I “taste and see” that You are good today. Give me the courage to be transparent and vulnerable before You and allow You access to every part of my heart. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.