Learning to Taste God in His Word

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Originally posted on the Bibles for America Blog.

When it comes to the Bible, we Christians would all agree that it’s very important to read it regularly. 

But if our Bible reading has become a tedious chore, it may be because we didn’t know we can taste and enjoy God in the Bible. 

Throughout history, God’s people have experienced enjoying Him in His Word. When we learn to taste God in His Word, our time spent with the Bible isn’t a duty; it’s a delight.

In this post, we’ll explore how we can taste and enjoy God in His Word.

Eating is enjoyable

We all know we have to eat to live. But this doesn’t mean we just endure it as a chore we have to get through; most of us look forward to eating. When we eat, we’re not just chewing and swallowing food; we’re also tasting it. That’s why eating can be so enjoyable.

The Bible is not like any other book; it’s actually our spiritual food. Like physical food, we need to take it in every day. And we can look forward to our time in the Word as an opportunity to enjoy and taste God.

God tastes sweet and good

What is it like to enjoy God in His Word? 

The writer of Psalm 119 says in verse 103: 

“How sweet are Your words to my taste! Sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

This psalmist and others in the Old Testament experienced a sweet taste in their hearts when they read the Word of God. Surely they discovered and experienced how enjoyable God’s Word is. 

But it’s not just the words in the Bible that taste good. It’s God Himself in His Word that we taste. 

We see this in 1 Peter 2:2-3, where the Word and the Lord are put together: 

“As newborn babes, long for the guileless milk of the word in order that by it you may grow unto salvation, if you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

We take in the guileless milk of the word, and in that milk, we taste that the Lord is good.

Note 1 on tasted in the New Testament Recovery Version explains:

The Lord can be tasted, and His taste is pleasant and good. If we have tasted Him, we will long for the nourishing milk in His word.”

The taste of the Lord in His Word is pleasant and good. Once we’ve tasted Him, it causes us to long to taste even more of Him.

How can we taste God in His Word?

Second Timothy 3:16 says:

“All Scripture is God-breathed.”

The words of the Scripture are God’s very breath, issuing from His breathing out. Since they come out of God’s very being, they carry the flavor of God. 

We need to keep this crucial fact in mind when we come to the Bible, approaching it in the right way so we can enjoy and taste God in it. Otherwise, we may miss Him altogether.

We come to a feast to enjoy it

Let’s say a friend of yours invites you to attend his wedding reception. When you arrive, you see a wonderful feast with an impressive number of appealing dishes. But instead of eating them, you study them. Rather than tasting and savoring the rich food, you learn as much information about it as possible. You find out the ingredients, calorie amounts, nutritional value, method of preparation, and so on. 

But you never take one bite. 

Later, when another friend asks you about the dinner, you relate all the information you gathered about the food. But if your friend asks, “Yes, but how did it taste? Was it good?” you can’t answer because you didn’t taste a single thing.  

The problem wasn’t the food. All the other guests who ate the food found everything delicious. The problem was your approach and intention when you went to the dinner. 

This example may seem a little ridiculous, and the problem is obvious. But it illustrates how we may not taste God because of our approach and intention when we come to the Bible.

Missing the food in God’s Word

Maybe in the past we’ve approached the Bible as if it were a textbook to analyze and learn as much information as we can about God. We may have acquired some objective knowledge about Him, but we probably didn’t taste very much of the Lord’s goodness or sweetness. 

Or maybe we’ve approached the Bible as a handbook or a guide for how we should live. We search it for the “rules” that we need to obey and the good things we should do. But if we come to the Bible intending to learn how to behave or improve ourselves, we miss the food in God’s Word.

We certainly must spend time to study, understand, and know the Bible. But we can’t stop there. If we focus merely on knowing about the Lord in an objective way, we’ll miss out on experiencing Him subjectively by tasting Him in His Word. 

And actually, the way we’re truly changed from within and even spontaneously transformed into the image of Christ is by eating and enjoying God in His Word.

Coming to the Bible to eat

God is unsearchably rich in who He is. He is love, light, holiness, righteousness, peace, endurance, faithfulness, and so much more. And He wants us to enjoy all that He is. The Bible gives us a way to taste and experience God as a rich feast.

But in order to taste and enjoy Him, it’s critical that we know how to eat the Word of God as our spiritual food. We discuss this in another post, How to Eat the Word of God. With proper eating comes tasting. As we eat the words in the Bible, we’ll enjoy the pleasant and good taste of God.

Then the words of Jeremiah 15:16 will be our testimony:

If you live in Australia, you can order a free copy of the New Testament Recovery Version here.

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