Religion Pleasant to the Religious
Psalm 34:8-14
O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusts in him.…

This excellence and desirableness of God's gifts is a subject again and again set before us in Scripture (Isaiah 25:6; Isaiah 61:1-3; Hosea 1:1-14:9, 5-7; Psalm 81:13-16). Other passages in the Psalms speak of this blessedness, besides the text (Psalm 4:7; Psalm 16:6; Psalm 19:10; Psalm 28:7; Psalm 65:4). The pleasures of sin are not to be compared in fulness and intensity to the pleasures of holy living. The pleasures of holiness are far more pleasant to the holy than the pleasures of sin to the sinner. None can know, however, the joys of being holy and pure but the holy. Let no persons, then, be surprised that religious obedience should really be so pleasant in itself, when it seems to them so distasteful. Let them not be surprised that what the pleasure is cannot be explained to them. It is a secret till they try to be religious. None other than God the Holy Spirit can help us in this matter, by enlightening and changing our hearts. So it is; and yet I will say one thing, by way of suggesting to you how great the joys of religion are. Is there any one who does not know how very painful the feeling of a bad conscience is? Persons accustom themselves and lose this feeling; but, till we blunt our conscience, it is very painful. And why? It is the feeling of God's displeasure, and therefore it is so painful. Consider then: if God's displeasure is so distressing to us, must not God's favour be just the reverse? And this is what it is to be holy and religious. It is to have God's favour. I hope there are some of you who take a pleasure in thinking of God, in blessing Him for the mercies of the Gospel, and in celebrating Christ's death and resurrection. These persons have "tasted" and tried. I trust they find the taste so heavenly, that they will not need any proof that religion is a pleasant thing. Let such persons, then, think of this, that if a religious life is pleasant hero, in spite of the old Adam interrupting the pleasure and defiling them, what a glorious day it will be if we are blessed hereafter with an entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven!

(J. H. Newman, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

WEB: Oh taste and see that Yahweh is good. Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

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