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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Monday, August 13, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 34:1–8

I will bless the Lord at all times;
   his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
   let the humble hear and be glad.
O magnify the Lord with me,
   and let us exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me,
   and delivered me from all my fears.
Look to him, and be radiant;
   so your faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord,
   and was saved from every trouble.
The angel of the Lord encamps
   around those who fear him, and delivers them.
O taste and see that the Lord is good;
   happy are those who take refuge in him. (NRSV)

“O taste and see that the Lord is good.” This phrase seems particularly apt in the current season. In summer there are so many delicious things to taste and so many beautiful things to see. Fresh corn, tomatoes, and peaches appear in the farmers’ markets. Blooming flowers, shrubs, and trees appear all over the city. Summer is a season that abounds with the bounty of nature in clear witness to God’s goodness.

The psalmist has spent the first verses of this passage praising God and thanking him for safe delivery from danger. Then he concludes with this reference to the physical senses. When people have escaped a dangerous situation they often report heightened awareness and appreciation of the world around them, especially those things that they might previously have taken for granted. A close call, the threat of death or danger, makes us more appreciative of the gift of life and the wonders of the world around us. I think this is what the psalmist is expressing in the final verse of this passage. Not only does he encourage us to taste and see the goodness of the Lord, he assures us that we will be happy when we go to the Lord for refuge.

We are always surrounded by examples of the Lord’s goodness and love, but sometimes we focus instead on the challenges that life throws our way. If we take the psalmist’s advice and look for God’s goodness in the world and take our refuge in his love for us, we will indeed be blessed.

O Lord, giver of life and all that is good, thank you for being my refuge. Help me to taste and see your goodness and love for me in the world around me. Amen.

Written by Juli Crabtree, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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