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Taste and See

In Psalm 34:8, the Psalmist tells us to taste and see that the Lord is good. Knowing the goodness of God intellectually is not enough. We are encouraged to use our senses to take in the fullness of the goodness of God.

Our finite minds need help to experience the fullness of God. God’s goodness is far beyond man’s ability to reason. We will never comprehend God’s goodness without experiencing Him in a similar way that we taste and smell, touch and see. In the same way that our senses help us experience the realities in this world, so we develop spiritual senses beyond the capacity of our intellect to connect to the goodness of God.

I experienced this in a big way during a week I spent ministering to women who live with little exposure to physical beauty. I was welcomed to their dark homes located near a large dump. Some homes retained the same overcast of dust and dirt that was on the outside. Others felt light and happy. The difference was the presence of God’s love. Everyone’s life had heartache and sorrow. Each homeowner had little reason to feel completely secure in the future and had no confidence that they would have enough food to eat that week. All of the neighbors I met were basically living day-to-day on what God’s provisions were to be.

Some were convinced of God’s love, not because the evidence of God’s goodness was more obvious. Rather they believed and trusted God and could experience Him in the depth of their souls. It was as if they had a God-sense that allowed them to feel His peace when all around them was chaos and uncertainty.

We all live in a world that is shattered by sin. The intellect will lead us to conclude that God does not care, or at best He has left us here with our own resources. Our intellects will deceive and mislead us. When we allow our intellects to take in the truth of God’s word, it opens up our senses to a spiritual sense so that we can taste and we can see that God is good beyond what our minds take in. We see beyond what is right in front of us and believe that there is much more for us in the world to come. Standing in some of the impoverished ill-furnished homes, I could taste the goodness of God. We taste a goodness that makes us long for more. We realize that we are just beginning to grasp that God is good, and it creates in us a longing for more of God.

The spiritual senses are beyond understanding. The spiritual senses are the receptacles for the peace of God. It is the peace that Paul describes in Philippians 4:7:

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

If you really want to understand the goodness of God, you must go beyond your intellect. This is one of the reasons that Jesus left us the Lord’s Supper to orientate our senses to the Gospel itself. He asks us to take bread and eat it as if we are eating His body and drink the cup as if we are drinking His blood. He uses the common elements found on every table in the world to awaken our spiritual senses to the amazing reality of the Gospel. We take Jesus’ flesh into our flesh, and we become one with Him.

Look for God’s goodness, bite into and taste that God is a good God. Perhaps you get a taste of God’s goodness from a person who has no reason to trust in Him, but sincerely loves Him. You can look to the moon and the stars that His hand have put in place as King David did in Psalm 8. Awaken your senses to consolidate spiritual truths that your intellect alone cannot contain.

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About Dr. Deborah Newman-Riesling

Dr. Deborah Newman

Deborah Newman-Riesling is a licensed professional counselor, and licensed marriage and family therapist. Deborah serves as Minister of Congregational Care at Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas, TX.


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