Article: A Taste of God: Knowing Christ personally | Liriya Lal
A certain debate was held to dispute the existence of God at a village. There was an atheist present who claimed that God cannot be proved as there was no scientific evidence to prove God. He also claimed that personal experiences of sensing God cannot exist as he never had any such experience to support it. Some time into the debate, an old man came forward and started eating an orange in front of the atheist. After completing the entire orange, he asked the atheist if he can tell what was the taste of the fruit that he had just eaten. The atheist responded by saying ‘How can I tell you what was the taste of the fruit that you had eaten as you are the only one who can know that.’ The old man said, ‘Likewise, how can you discredit the existence of the personal experience that I have with God by saying that it cannot be proved just because you do not have any similar experience.’ Although we may not be as extreme as the atheist in going all the way to disprove God, it is important that we question ourselves if we have truly tasted God personally in our lives.
Psalms 34:8 says ‘O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.’ This psalm was penned by David, when he feigned madness in front of ‘Abimelech’. Although it is written as Abimelech, the incident noted in the Bible is when he meets king Achish. Seeing that the king had recognised him as David, a great warrior whose songs of valour were famous, he feared that he might be put to death if the king considers him a threat. Realising this, he feigns madness in the king’s chambers and the king, convinced that he is indeed mad, sends him on his way. It is to be supposed that David put on this act on the spur of the moment when he had to quickly think of a way to rescue himself from being killed. David sings in this psalm that God is he who rescued him from the king’s sword. In this particular instance, David experienced the unique and unseen side of God’s saving ways. He knows he had been counselled by God in a life or death situation even when there was no one to offer him a successful strategy. Which is what prompted him to say that God can only be truly experienced through our personal experiences.
The phrase, ‘To taste God’ can be seen in two ways. The first is to see the wondrous and glorious works of God in our lives. In psalms 34:6 the writer says, ‘This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles’ Even though God is the creator and the power behind that everything that happens in our universe, he is mindful of his creations and has mercy on what he has created. He hears our faintest cries and knows our every need and moves his hand according to our requests. There is no believer who has not known the tender mercies of the Lord at one or the other point in his life. Given the chance to testify of his goodness, we can speak without end on how good the Lord has been to us. While all of those are examples of his goodness in our lives, the greatest ‘good’ he had done to us is when he sent his only son to redeem us from our sins. While we were bound under the yoke of our eternal sins, God had mercy on us and sent us a redeemer- his own son to free us from the wretched bondage that would lead us to eternal suffering. This act of love will always be the prime and the absolute good that God has done to humanity as a whole and to each of us in our own lives.
While it stands that we have been saved from our sins, the second way of ‘tasting’ his goodness is to have the knowledge of his self and the awareness of his presence. God had cleared a path to himself through his precious son, Jesus Christ and he is waiting for us to walk the way of knowing him. He extended the hand of reconciliation to the fallen man to restore his position as his companion who was created to worship him. He is not an aloof God who stays away from mankind to keep himself pure, unlike other common concepts of a holy deity. He is in fact the only entity that purifies whatever he touches as seen in the four gospels. All of these points to fact that God wants us to know him more. He is willing to show himself to those that seek him truthfully. Enoch, Abraham, Moses and Elijah as well as several other old testament saints are known for their faith and their relationship with the living God. They have talked to God and have obeyed his precepts and accomplished his will on earth. Enoch and Elijah were taken up to God, Abraham was called the friend of God , and Moses talked to God as with a friend. It is obvious that God, who knows us inside out, wants us to know him in a similar way. We are the work of his hands and He is waiting for us to come closer to him and spent our lives with him. He is willing to reveal his secrets to his servants (Amos 3:7), if only we are willing to approach him.
In conclusion, taste is one of the most personal experience known to man. When God says to ‘taste’ and know him, he is inviting us to have an experience as personal as tasting food. Psalms 119:103 says ‘How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth’. He is calling us forward to the sweet experience of fellowship in Christ. Let us partake in the feast of the word of God and move closer towards the purification and sanctification through his body and blood. May God help us to live a Christ-centred life as we await the coming of our Lord Jesus. Amen.