David’s flight from Saul reads like a Netflix series with intrigue, escapes and drama: The dashing, young hero, unjustly chased by an insanely jealous king. But the danger was real, and so were both of these flawed men. The difference was while Saul was pursuing David, David was pursuing God.
The first book of Samuel (chapter 21) gives the account of David’s flight to Gath, where his notoriety preceded him and the servants of the king, Achish (Abimelech), recognized him as the region’s most wanted man. David, out of fear, pretended to be insane, causing Achish to dismiss him.
Grateful for the reprieve and the Lord’s protection over him, David wrote an outpouring of praise that we know as Psalm 34. You probably have heard one of these verses: “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good” (verse 8).
Taste is an invitation to intimately and personally experience, most commonly food, which offers endless combinations of flavors and seasonings. Using this metaphor, David invites you to experience the Lord in the zillion different ways he manifests himself. And he testifies that the Lord is good.
But what exactly is good?
Our mortal minds often get stuck on the Now Good, defined by worldly provision and with the goal of personal comfort. We seek the Now Good in our circumstances. The focus is on ourselves.
Our day-to-day health is an illustration of how we frame the Now Good. If we are ill, we experience physical symptoms that range from annoying to painful. We look to medicine, a warm blanket and sleep to ease our discomfort. And if someone asks how we are, we might say, “Not good.”
While God sees us and cares for us in all of our circumstances, he invites us to experience Eternal Good, which is being in relationship with him and in his presence for all of eternity. Because we are sinful, Eternal Good must redeem us through our faith in Jesus, and the focus is on our Savior.
When God created the heavens and the earth, he declared them good (Genesis 1). But sin entered the world, creating chaos and havoc that has broken us.
Enter Jesus, who told us, in this world, we would have trouble, “but take heart; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).” Our troubles are temporary, as is our Now Good. Because our Now Good has an expiration date, Jesus is far more concerned for our Eternal Good. He is redeeming all our troubles and ourselves for his Father — using every ache and mistake, every fear, and every trauma for our Eternal Good. If we breathe in the aroma of his hope, taste his faithfulness and savor his delicious and pure love.
How are you personally experiencing Jesus today?
Do you believe that the Lord is good? Why or why not?