Psalm 34:8
O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
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(8) Taste.—Comp. Hebrews 6:4 ; 1Peter 2:3.

Psalm 34:8. O taste and see that the Lord is good — That is, kind, merciful, and gracious, namely, to all his people. The goodness of God, here spoken of, includes both the amiableness and benevolence of his nature, and the bounty and beneficence of his providence and grace; and, in calling us to taste and see this, the psalmist means that we should seriously, thoroughly, and affectionately consider it, and make trial of it by our own experience; which is opposed to those slight and vanishing thoughts that men usually have of the divine goodness. It is not sufficient that we find him to be a bountiful benefactor to us, but we must relish and take delight in his goodness manifested in and by his gifts, and in the contemplation of his infinite perfections and boundless love; and must be so convinced and persuaded of his goodness, as thereby to be encouraged, in the worst of times, to trust in him, and cast our care upon him.

34:1-10 If we hope to spend eternity in praising God, it is fit that we should spend much of our time here in this work. He never said to any one, Seek ye me in vain. David's prayers helped to silence his fears; many besides him have looked unto the Lord by faith and prayer, and it has wonderfully revived and comforted them. When we look to the world, we are perplexed, and at a loss. But on looking to Christ depends our whole salvation, and all things needful thereunto do so also. This poor man, whom no man looked upon with any respect, or looked after with any concern, was yet welcome to the throne of grace; the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The holy angels minister to the saints, and stand for them against the powers of darkness. All the glory be to the Lord of the angels. By taste and sight we both make discoveries, and have enjoyment; Taste and see God's goodness; take notice of it, and take the comfort of it. He makes all truly blessed that trust in him. As to the things of the other world, they shall have grace sufficient for the support of spiritual life. And as to this life, they shall have what is necessary from the hand of God. Paul had all, and abounded, because he was content, Php 4:11-18. Those who trust to themselves, and think their own efforts sufficient for them, shall want; but they shall be fed who trust in the Lord. Those shall not want, who with quietness work, and mind their own business.O taste and see - This is an address to others, founded on the experience of the psalmist. He had found protection from the Lord; he had had evidence of His goodness; and he asks now of others that they would make the same trial which he had made. It is the language of piety in view of personal experience; and it is such language as a young convert, whose heart is filled with joy as hope first dawns on his soul, would address to his companions and friends, and to all the world around; such language as one who has had any special comfort, or who has experienced any special deliverance from temptation or from trouble, would address to others. Lessons, derived from our own experience, we may properly recommend to others; the evidence which has been furnished us that God is good, we may properly employ in persuading others to come and taste his love. The word "taste" here - טעם ṭâ‛am - means properly to try the flavor of anything, Job 12:11; to eat a little so as to ascertain what a thing is, 1 Samuel 14:24, 1 Samuel 14:29, 1 Samuel 14:43; Jonah 3:7; and then to perceive by the mind, to try, to experience, Proverbs 31:18.

It is used here in the sense of making a trial of, or testing by experience. The idea is, that by putting trust in God - by testing the comforts of religion - one would so thoroughly see or perceive the blessings of it - would have so much happiness in it - that he would be led to seek his happiness there altogether. In other words, if we could but get men to make a trial of religion; to enter upon it so as really to understand and experience it, we may be certain that they would have the same appreciation of it which we have, and that they would engage truly in the service of God. If those who are in danger would look to him; if sinners would believe in him; if the afflicted would seek him; if the wretched would cast their cares on him; if they who have sought in vain for happiness in the world, would seek happiness in him - they would, one and all, so surely find what they need that they would renounce all else, and put their trust alone in God. Of this the psalmist was certain; of this all are sure who have sought for happiness in religion and in God.

"Oh make but trial of His love;

Experience will decide

How bless'd are they - and only they -

Who in His truth confide."

Blessed is the man that trusteth in him - Compare the notes at Psalm 2:12.

8. taste and see—try and experience.8 O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

9 O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.

10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.

Psalm 34:8

"O taste and see." Make a trial, an inward, experimental trial of the goodness of God. You cannot see except by tasting for yourself; but if you taste you shall see, for this, like Jonathan's honey, enlightens the eyes. "That the Lord is good." You can only know this really and personally by experience. There is the banquet with its oxen and fatlings; its fat things full of marrow, and wines on the lees well refined; but their sweetness will be all unknown to you except you make the blessings of grace your own, by a living, inward, vital participation in them. "Blessed is the man that trusteth in him." Faith is the soul's taste; they who test the Lord by their confidence always find him good, and they become themselves blessed. The second clause of the verse, is the argument in support of the exhortation contained in the first sentence.

Psalm 34:9

"O fear the Lord, lie his saints." Pay to him humble childlike reverence, walk in his laws, have respect to his will, tremble to offend him, hasten to serve him. Fear not the wrath of men, neither be tempted to sin through the virulence of their threats; fear God and fear nothing else. "For there is no want to them that fear him." Jehovah will not allow his faithful servants to starve. He may not give luxuries, but the promise binds him to supply necessaries, and he will not run back from his word. Many whims and wishes may remain ungratified, but real wants the Lord will supply. The fear of the Lord or true piety is not only the duty of those who avow themselves to be saints, that is, persons set apart and consecrated for holy duties, but it is also their path of safety and comfort. Godliness hath the promise of the life which now is. If we were to die like dogs, and there were no hereafter, yet were it well for our own happiness' sake to fear the Lord. Men seek a patron and hope to prosper; he prospers surely who hath the Lord of Hosts to be his friend and defender.

Psalm 34:10

"The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger." They are fierce, cunning, strong, in all the rigour of youth, and yet they sometimes howl in their ravenous hunger, and even so crafty, designing, and oppressing men, with all their sagacity and unscrupulousness, often come to want; yet simple-minded believers, who dare not act as the greedy lions of earth, are fed with food convenient for them. To trust God is better policy than the craftiest politicians can teach or practise. "But they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing." No really good thing shall be denied to those whose first and main end in life is to seek the Lord. Men may call them fools, but the Lord will prove them wise. They shall win where the world's wiseacres lose their all, and God shall have the glory of it.

Taste, i.e. consider it seriously, and thoroughly, and affectionately; make trial of it by your own and others’ experiences. This is opposed to those slight and vanishing thoughts which men have of it.

Good, i.e. merciful and gracious, to wit, to all his people.

O taste, and see that the Lord is good,.... He is essentially, infinitely, perfectly, immutably, and solely good in himself; and he is communicatively and diffusively good to others: he is the author of all good, but not of any evil, in a moral sense; this chiefly regards his special grace and goodness through Christ: all the divine Persons in the Godhead are good; the Father is good, he has good designs towards his people, has provided good things for them, made good promises to them, and bestows good gifts on them: the Son is good; the good Shepherd that has laid down his life for the sheep; he is the fountain of all grace and goodness to his churches, and to particular believers; he has wrought a good work for them, the work of redemption, and he speaks a good word on their behalf in the court of heaven: the Spirit is good; he works good things in the hearts of the sons of men, and shows good things unto them; and gracious souls, such as the psalmist here calls upon, are capable of tasting and discerning how good the Lord is in some measure; see Psalm 119:103. While unregenerate, their taste is vitiated, and remains unchanged, and sin is what they feed upon with pleasure, and so detest everything that is good; but in conversion a new taste is given, so as to have a saving experimental knowledge of the grace and goodness of God in Christ, an application of it to them; and in such manner as to live upon it, and be nourished by it; and though this is not a superficial taste of things, like that of hypocrites, nor a single one only, being frequently repeated; yet it is but a taste in comparison of the enjoyment of it in the heavenly state; and every taste now influences and engages trust in the Lord, as follows;

blessed is the man that trusteth in him; See Gill on Psalm 2:12; the Targum renders it, "that trust in his word".

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
8. O taste &c.] Make but trial, and you will perceive what His goodness is toward them who fear Him. Cp. Psalm 27:13. The adaptation of the words in 1 Peter 2:3 follows the rendering of the LXX, ὅτι χρηστὸς ὁ Κύριος. It is significant that the words are there applied to Christ. See Bp. Westcott’s Hebrews, pp. 89ff.

blessed &c.] Or, happy is the man that taketh refuge in him. Cp. Psalm 2:12; and Psalm 1:1; Psalm 32:2; but the word for man here is a different one. It means properly a strong man, and suggests the thought that be he never so strong in himself, man’s only true happiness is in dependence on Jehovah.

Verse 8. - O taste and see that the Lord is good; i.e. put the matter to the test of experience (comp. 1 Peter 2:3). There is no other way of really knowing how good God is. Blessed is the man that trusteth in him (comp. Psalm 2:12; Psalm 84:12; Proverbs 16:20; Isaiah 30:18; Jeremiah 17:7). Trust in God is a feeling which is blessed in itself. God also showers blessings on such as trust in him. Psalm 34:8(Heb.: 34:8-11) This praise is supported by a setting forth of the gracious protection under which God's saints continually are. The מלאך יהוה, is none other than He who was the medium of Jahve's intercourse with the patriarchs, and who accompanied Israel to Canaan. This name is not collective (Calvin, Hupfeld, Kamphausen, and others). He, the One, encampeth round about them, in so far as He is the Captain of the host of Jahve (Joshua 5:14), and consequently is accompanied by a host of inferior ministering angels; or insofar as He can, as being a spirit not limited by space, furnish protection that covers them on every side. חנה (cf. Zechariah 9:8) is perhaps an allusion to מחנים in Genesis 32:2., that angel-camp which joined itself to Jacob's camp, and surrounded it like a barricade or carrago. On the fut. consec. ויחלּצם, et expedit eos, as a simple expression of the sequence, or even only of a weak or loose internal connection, vid., Ewald, 343, a. By reason of this protection by the Angel of God arises (Psalm 34:9) the summons to test the graciousness of God in their own experience. Tasting (γεύσαστηαι, Hebrews 6:4., 1 Peter 2:3) stands before seeing; for spiritual experience leads to spiritual perception or knowledge, and not vice versa. Nisi gustaveris, says Bernard, non videbis. David is desirous that others also should experience what he has experienced in order that they may come to know what he has come to know, viz., the goodness of God.

(Note: On account of this Psalm 34:9, Γεύσασθε καὶ Ἴδετε κ. τ. λ., Psalm 33 (34) was the Communion Psalm of the early church, Constit. Apost. viii. 13, Cyril,. Catech. Myst. v 17.)

Hence, in Psalm 34:10, the call to the saints to fear Jahve (יראוּ instead of יראוּ, in order to preserve the distinction between veremini and videbunt, as in Joshua 24:14; 1 Samuel 12:24); for whoso fears Him, possesses everything in Him. The young mature lions may sooner lack and suffer hunger, because they have no prey, than that he should suffer any want whatsoever, the goal of whose striving is fellowship with God. The verb רוּשׁ (to lack, be poor, once by metaplasm ירשׁ, 1 Samuel 2:7, root רשׁ, to be or to make loose, lax), elsewhere used only of men, is here, like Psalm 104:21 בּקּשׁ מאל, transferred to the lions, without כּפירים being intended to refer emblematically (as in Psalm 35:17; Psalm 57:5; Psalm 17:12) to his powerful foes at the courts of Saul and of Achish.

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