Posted by: arieliondotcom | May 16, 2010

Lemon Eaters

Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.

I am one of those people who look as though I eat a lot of lemons. In Italian we call that “puckered up” expression “fungia”, mushroom, probably because our lips look like mushrooms when we pout. Maybe it’s just the way our faces go. I often have people asking “What’s wrong?” When nothing’s wrong at all and I’m (as I usually am) singing and humming. Or maybe it’s because we’re so accustomed to worry and the bitter taste of the world that we forget to smile.

This Psalm is no “think happy thoughts” quote from Peter Pan. Rather it is a call to remember, often and with intentionality, that no matter how sour and sick the circumstances of life, GOD is fundamentally, completely and eternally Good. And all He is and does is good. It is no wonder, then, that those whose ancestors suffered slavery still chant the motto, “GOD is good all the time; all the time GOD is good.” And we, each and all of us, can join in that chant, because we are, each and all of us, slaves to sin until JESUS, Goodness in Flesh, sets us free.

Another saying “It’s all good”, however, is a lie. As Psalm 34 tells us, evil is real. It is a bitter poison that flavors every bite of life if we let it. “It” is not all good But GOD is, and uses even evil to His own good purpose though there is no evil or evil intent in Himself.

The reason it is so important to attend gatherings with (fellow) Believers, to read and/or listen to the Bible (not just about the Bible), to pray and to sing praise songs often is to wash the bitter taste of evil out of our souls.

As this psalm points out, every one of these opportunities is a time when we can taste and see the goodness of GOD underlying what otherwise might embitter us. Don’t allow those opportunities (and they are as close as your knees, your bookshelf, your breath, bus or car) to pass you by.

The Israelites had allowed themselves to get accustomed to the distasteful food of the world for so long and so often that even the sweetness of food from Heaven wouldn’t satisfy them after a while. They didn’t even recognize GOD’s grace after a while, calling the food He provided “What is it?” (manna). They even complained it was too bland. And the same, calling good evil and evil good, can happen to us if we lose our taste for GOD.

JESUS, GOD Incarnate, calls us to feed upon Him and be filled with eternal life. He is our refuge from death, which is the consequence of the recipe of evil we’ve cooked up for ourselves. Taste and see how good He is, how good Life in Him can be, in spite of the evil in ourselves, others and the fallen world. And smile!

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