“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.” – Psalm 34:8-10
The other day, with the wise guidance of my fiancé, I bought some maple bacon Kettle Brand chips at the grocery store. Call it an impulse buy. Call it an eye for a good deal. Call it one of the best decisions of my life! Since buying these chips I let my roommate try them and I told a few other people about my purchase. You may think that this is strange, but I think this discovery has changed my life. Not radically, but at least in the way I think about chips. Who knew that they could make potato chips that taste like breakfast? This is a game changer! I promise I don’t normally rant about junk food, but I had to let people know how great these chips were. You would have done it too. I promise.
My maple bacon celebration is a micro example of the human condition, namely we praise whatever we delight in. C. S. Lewis observes this phenomenon in his work A Reflection on the Psalms, saying,
“The world rings with praise- lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favorite poets, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favorite game- praise of weather, wines, dishes, actors, motors, horses, colleges, countries, historical personages, children, flowers, mountains, rare stamps, rare beetles, even sometimes politicians or scholars”.
Have you ever thought about this? Our natural, everyday activities are filled with praise. Perhaps we wouldn’t use that word to describe the action. Maybe we would call it something more like adoring or commending. Yet, even these words get to the heart of praise.
Adoring and commending are responses to nouns. We cannot adore or commend without something to adore or commend. And even still, those things that we adore or commend do not get our praise unless they are praiseworthy. If we do not delight in something, we will not consider it worthy of our praise. On the converse, we will always praise that which we delight in. C. S. Lewis explains why he believes this is the case. He suggests,
“I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed. It is frustrating to have discovered a new author and not to be able to tell anyone how good he is; to come suddenly, at the turn of the road, upon some mountain valley of unexpected grandeur and then to have to keep silent because the people with you care for it no more than for a tin can in the ditch; to hear a good joke and to find no one to share it with”.
We see what Lewis is talking about in the Psalm quoted above. Here, the psalmist is praising the God of the Christian Scriptures. He is consummating his delight in God. The natural overflow of his enjoyment is praise. Yet, this text shows us even more than what the psalmist loves. This text is an invitation by the psalmist to his reader, those singing it, and those hearing it, to try God. It’s a call to find enjoy God, to enjoy his goodness, to trust in that goodness. In essence, he is proclaiming, “let God satisfy you”.
I did the same thing with my maple bacon chips. To my roommate I said, “You have to try these chips, they are so good!” To my fiancé I said, “That was the best purchase of my life! Thanks for telling me to get them!” The chips have satisfied my hunger for a great tasting snack. This idea is a reflection of a much larger satisfaction, namely the psalmist being satisfied in God.
The meaning of this text in Psalm 34 is well reflected in the hymn “Satisfied” written by Clara T. Williams in 1875. The chorus of the hymn is this: “Hallelujah! He has found me, the One my soul so long has craved! Jesus satisfies all my longings, through his blood I now am saved.” The Bible is full of people whose enjoyment of God bursts forth into praise. In fact, their praise consummates their enjoyment of God. Likewise, this blog is an extension of enjoying God. Please visit this site again and explore the claims that these posts make. I hope that the riches of God’s grace will find you in these readings. I hope that you will taste and see that he is good.