Sermon Text: Psalm 34:8
Pastor Daniel Schmidt
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Over the past several weeks, our weekend services have looked at various Psalms under the theme: “Singing the Psalms ‘til the End Times.” As we gather together here in God’s House on this Thanksgiving with thank-filled hearts, you and I know that we have so many reasons to sing. Today, before we go into someone’s home and enjoy a meal that has been prepared for us, you and I come into God’s House and set aside some time to feast on the Word of our God. As you and I enjoy partaking of the Bread of Life, the encouragement we hear from God’s Word is to TASTE AND SEE THAT THE LORD IS GOOD!
In Psalm 34, King David is led by God the Holy Spirit to give thanks for the goodness of the LORD. What was the reaction of David to the goodness and love shown to him by his LORD? In verse 8 of Psalm 34, David offers all thanks and praise to his Savior-God. He writes, “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” And in the next verse, verse 9, David writes, “Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.” David knew that he couldn’t rely on his own abilities and strength as he lived out his days on the earth. Each day it was the LORD who blessed David by providing every good thing that he needed. This led David “to fear” God. This does not mean that David was afraid of God. Rather, in response to the goodness and love of the LORD, David offered the one true God the respect and the honor that he alone deserves from mankind.
When was the last time you said thank-you to the LORD for his goodness to you? I am not talking about the prayer that some of use at the beginning of our meal, and say so quickly sometimes that we treat it like something we have to get out of the way so we can enjoy our meal. When was the last time you spent time in prayer saying thank-you to the Lord for all his goodness to you? Far too often our prayers don’t say, “Thank-you, LORD, for what you have given to me”, but rather they say, “LORD, I want more”. At times, we are all guilty of thinking or acting like God owes us something. And when things don’t go our way, you and I find it far too easy to grumble and to complain to the LORD.
When you and I start thinking or acting in this way we do well to remember what you and I deserve for such a sinful attitude toward our God. Because of our sinful, ungrateful attitudes and actions, because of the sin you and I are born in, we deserve to have our Lord turn his back on us; to walk away from us forever. The only thing that the holy and just God owes you and me is to leave us so that we spend a never-ending life suffering in the flames and pain of hell. What you and I deserve is what we read about in Malachi chapter 4, “‘Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire,’ says the LORD Almighty.”
If you closely at the word “LORD” in Psalm 34, you will notice that it is written in all capital letters. Each time we come across this in the NIV translation of the Bible we are to remember who the true God is. He is the God of faithful love. He is the Savior-God who, back in the Garden of Eden, promised sinful mankind that he would send the world a Savior. The LORD repeated that promise over and over throughout the Old Testament. As we will celebrate in a month, at just the right time, our loving Father in heaven kept his promise and sent his one and only Son. Jesus Christ our Savior came to this earth to take upon himself God’s wrath and anger over our sins.
It is because of Jesus our Savior that you and I enjoy so many great blessings from the hand of our God: the forgiveness of all of our sins and eternal life at his side in heaven; the promise that he hears and answers each and every one of our prayers; the comfort that he is watching over us each and every day; the God-pleasing motivation to live for him. It is because of Jesus our Savior that you and I are able to join with David and say, “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”
Our LORD certainly is a good and gracious God. As we celebrate this Thanksgiving, we are reminded how our LORD shows you and me that goodness day after day as he watches over us, providing for us greatly day after day. While you and I are thankful for the many physical blessings we enjoy from our LORD, far more important is that through Jesus our Savior, our loving LORD showers you and me with his forgiving love. The Holy Spirit uses his all-powerful Word to strengthen our faith and trust in Jesus as our Savior so that you and I are able to give thanks that through the LORD we lack no good thing. It is the love of our Savior-God that leads you and me to join our voices with David and sing, “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” Amen.