O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusts in him.…
There are two things in this exhortation.
I. A CALL TO MAKE TRIAL OF RELIGION. The spirit of religion is, "The Lord is good." But how are we to know this? Not by hearing, or inquiring, or believing on the word of others, but by making trial for ourselves. This is in accordance with reason and practical experience. Experience is found on experiment. The knowledge thus acquired can be safely acted upon. So it is in human life. It is the friend we have found kind and helpful in time of need that we trust. So it is also in religion. "Taste and see:" this is the settled order. If we act in this way, the result will be sure, and we shall joyfully add our witness to that of others, "The Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him." This call, "Taste and see," is the call of Christ in the gospel. Those who hear it must make a choice. They must hear or refuse. But considering who it is that gives the call, and the manifold and powerful arguments by which it is enforced, surely it would be wise and reasonable to take Christ at his word, and to make honest trial of his religion. "If any man willeth to do his will, he shall know of the teaching whether it be of God" (John vii, 17, Revised Version). Try the word, try prayer, try the Christian life, try if Christ is to be trusted; not until you have done this can you say whether God is good or not.
II. A CHARGE TO LIVE UP TO THE HIGHEST STANDARD OF RELIGION. "Oh, fear the Lord, ye his saints." This is due to God. We are not our own, to live as we like. We belong to God, and are bound to live according to his Law. God says to us, "Ye are my witnesses." This is necessary to our true welfare. The very name "saints" implies that we have been separated from the world, that we have been called unto holiness. But holiness and happiness are indissoluble. The more we "fear God" the more shall we advance in holiness, and the more we advance in holiness the more shall we enjoy of true happiness. "Want" there will be to us, but we will be content to know that God is with us, and that he will withhold no "good thing" from us (Psalm 84:11; Hebrews 4:16). This is the best way of commending religion to others. We influence others more by example than by precept. The more perfectly we live and act as God's saints, keeping truth and doing right always, serving others in love, following peace and holiness, in a word, the more perfectly we live and act in the spirit of Christ, the greater will be our influence for good in the world. What we have tried and found good, we can honestly commend. What we have proved, and are continually showing in its beneficent effect on our own character and life, to be of the highest worth and virtue, must have a powerful claim to the faith of all reasonable and right thinking men. Let men say of a Christian, "If there be a saint on earth, that is one;" and the next thing will be, "If Jesus could make such a character, is not this the Christ?" - W.F.
Parallel VersesKJV: O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.