O Taste and See!
Whatever our lot is in this life it must be said that we do not get what we deserve. This is true firstly for the ungodly man. Although he may know suffering and sorrow here yet his experience is nothing compared to what awaits him. He deserves the wrath of a holy and righteous God on account of his sin and this he will undoubtedly receive in full measure in the life to come.
It is also true for the believing man. He too ought to be visited for his transgressions. Instead he enjoys the favour of God to his soul – in part now and in perfection when he enters glory. This is a continual wonder to him – that the Lord has delivered his soul from the lowest hell and set him with the princes of His people.
A Christian is someone who has been quickened together with Christ (Eph.2:5). He once had no relish for the things of God. He walked after his own ways, the ways of darkness and death, enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season. His friends were men of the world. When in the house of God, as he sometimes was, his thoughts were, “Behold, what a weariness is it!” (Mal.1:13). Surely there is nothing for me here!
Despite the earthly comforts, despite the jovial companions, despite everything, there was no real peace or contentment in his soul. Instead there was an emptiness within. This would not be acknowledged to others but it could not be denied to himself. He hoped that one day such feelings would be gone. But he also feared that one day his life would be weighed in the balances of righteousness and found wanting.
It was the Lord in His great kindness who showed him his problem: separation from God on account of personal sin. This truth (which he knew already but suppressed) was brought home powerfully to his conscience by the Holy Spirit. The Bible came to life and spoke to him. Its message felt sharper than a twoedged sword, for it judged his very thoughts and desires (Heb.4:12). God hedged up his way with thorns and made a wall in front of him (Hos.2:6). He was convinced of his sin. He knew he was guilty and hell-deserving! Where could he turn for help?
Through the preaching of the gospel he came to learn that whereas he had transgressed God’s law Jesus Christ the sinless Son of God is “the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Rom.10:4). He turned from his sins and trusted in the Saviour. He was justified freely by the grace of God and adopted into the Lord’s family.
Having “tasted that the Lord is gracious” (1Pet.2:3) the Christian’s appetite for God grows. By faith he feeds on Christ in the Scriptures, for Christ is “the bread of life” (John 6:35) and the only food for his soul. As he trusts and obeys and delights himself in God the believer is privileged to see “the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psa.27:13). God has purposed everlasting salvation for His people and in His providence He works every part of their experience to that glorious end. This is their portion and they would not exchange it for anything in this world.
David, the man after God’s own heart, knew this abundant life. He said: “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him” (Psa.34:8). Have you made this great discovery?