Taste and See
Truth can be seen in one of two ways. You can begin with a certain principle and reason down to the “facts.” You can reason back from the “facts” to create principles. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. The trouble is that both can mislead a person.
For instance, suppose bad things happen. Using the first one can believe that God is good and have no need to blame God for the bad. Using the second one can question the goodness of God based on what is observed.
David understood that “facts” are a matter of interpretation. This allowed him to hold to the principle that God is good.
I. Praise God in PRECARIOUS circumstances.
A. David’s story:
1. David had been anointed King [1 Samuel 16:12 – 13]
a. David was the 8th son, the youngest, probably considered insignificant.
b. David was keeping sheep when God anointed him King.
c. David was given the Holy Spirit in a powerful way. (“rushed on him”)
2. David beat the unbeatable enemy [1 Samuel 17:45 – 47]
a. Goliath was the champion of Gath, a warrior from birth.
b. Goliath was massive. He was at least 9 feet 9 inches tall (possibly as tall as 11 feet) and extremely strong.
c. When Goliath spoke, people ran in fear.
3. King Saul wanted to kill David. [1 Samuel 20:31]
4. David fled to Gath (remember Goliath) for protection. [1 Samuel 21:10 – 15]
a. Someone remembered he had killed Goliath and got credit for destroying Gath’s army.
b. David, the slayer of Goliath, was reduced to “pretended(ing) to be insane.”
B. Here’s the principle:
1. “I will extol (bless) the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.” [Psalm 34:1]
a. The word “all” is a “predeterminer” or “determiner” (a modifying word that determines the kind of reference a noun or group has... Oxford).
b. The word “always” means “continually” or without interuption.
c. Principle: If “all” then “now.”
1.) When weighed down start listening/counting reasons to praise God... (Ill. Hymn “Count Your Many Blessings”)
2.) God’s goodness should never be out of our minds.
II. Praise God in ABJECT circumstances.
A. David found himself in a very humiliating place.
1. He acted like a “madman.” He was anointed King of Israel, he was victorious in battle, he was running for his life, and now this... (CAUTION: mental illness is a serious problem that affects many people is serious ways and needs professional treatment.)
2. This might have been the low point, so far, in David’s life.
a. If you think you will never, or should never have trouble, then you are in trouble.
b. Trouble did not shake David’s faith.
B. Here’s the principle:
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” [Psalm 34:18]
1. “To be humble is to be glad.” [Unknown]
a. Why? Because God has a special place in His heart for those in abject circumstances.
b. Jesus said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 5:3]
2. How? The unshakable confidence that “God is good.”
a. The core problem is the same one it is with sin.
b. We want to decide what is “good” (acceptable to joyful) and “bad” (unacceptable to miserable) and the project that on God.
III. Praise God in COLLECTIVE circumstances.
A. Emotions are contagious.
1. Emotions are projected, not hidden.
a. Angry words stir up anger in others.
b. Studies of “mob mentality.” It starts with one person acting inappropriately on their emotions.
2. “Misery loves company.”
a. Miserable (or hurt) people either seek out others who are miserable or make others miserable (or hurt).
b. Thought: “Joy also loves company.” (What’s the point in celebrating alone?)
B. Here’s the principle:
“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” [Psalm 30:5]
1. Jeremiah in the bitterness of his circumstances recognized: “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:  Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” [Lamentations 3:21 – 23]
2. What favor? What mercies?
a. [v 4] “He answered me.”
b. [v 4] “He delivered me.”
c. [v 10] “those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.”
IV. Praise God ENTIRELY.
A. The invitation is to “taste.”
1. To taste is to experience something.
2. When you taste it is not partial.
3. Taste triggers an entire sensation and experience.
B. “Taste and see that the LORD is good.” [v 8]
1. Taste is extremely personal.
a. Some tastes are acquired (sauerkraut, coffee, etc...).
b. Some tastes are conditioned (“don’t put THAT in you mouth”).
2. Taste differs from person to person.
a. What is sweet, sour, salty, or tart to one may be different to someone else.
b. It is all in the reaction.
C. Here’s the principle:
1. Taste is unforgettable.
a. Ever hear (or say) “That tastes like dirt (motor oil, or some other undesirable thing)?”
b. How do you (they) know it taste like dirt...?
2. God wants you to EXPERIENCE Him in a personal and unforgettable way. It’s the only way we are going to keep “pace” with life and deal with difficult (or even great) circumstances.
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