Sunday 08 August 2021

Bible Book:

O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him. (v. 8)

Psalm 34 Sunday 8 August 2021

John 6:35, 41-51


The Psalms, of which there are 150, are part of the Hebrew scripture, the Old Testament. They are written mainly as poems and therefore one does not read them literally, as one would read a story. The psalms are essentially an expression of the psalmist’s feelings, such as sadness, joy, or anger, to name a few examples. David wrote some, but not all the psalms, and the authorship of many is unknown.

The heading of Psalm 34 "Praise for deliverance from trouble" may refer to an event in 1 Samuel 21, in the midst of David fleeing for his life, from King Saul. However, it is not entirely clear whether this is the actual historical context for the psalm.

The psalm expresses praise and thanksgiving to God for deliverance. The reference in verse 8 to “taste and see” is an expression of intimacy: when one tastes something, one gets a real sense of it, more so than one would from seeing it. The psalmist invites the reader to experience God intimately in their own unique way.

The second half of the psalm contains the kind of teaching which is mostly found in the book of Proverbs. The “young lions” in verse 10 may symbolise self-sufficiency or greed; yet they could go hungry, but not those who are close to God. The word “fear” in this context means standing in reverence and awe, rather than being afraid or scared. And reverence for God is reflected in speech and actions.

The psalmist does not pretend that those who revere and love God will be exempt from trouble. Instead, God will come to their rescue and be with them. 

To Ponder:

  • What images does the word combination “taste and see that the Lord is good” conjure up in your mind?
  • Reflect on times when you have been particularly aware of God’s presence and God’s rescuing act, during difficult times.


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