Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
By Gary Wilkerson
Many people are frustrated because even though they have much knowledge of God’s Word, they have little life experience living it out. God wants us to marry what we know and the way live.
In the Old Testament and even in Jesus’ time, intense study of the Word of God was an integral part of Jewish life. A Hebrew child started school when he was six years old and his education was launched with this verse: “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4). Then, from age six to nine, he would study the Torah, the first five books of the Bible — Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Some historians tell us that the more brilliant children memorized the entire Torah. Amazing!
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Psalm 34:8). The Rabbi would actually pour honey on the chalk board in class, dip his finger in the honey, and let the children taste it. As the honey was wiped away from the board, the letters of the lesson would appear. What a delightful way to start your education. As the children advanced in their learning, they developed the wonderful Jewish characteristic of debating one another — learning how to argue.
In Jesus’ day “a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’” (Luke 10:25). The brilliant young scholar was probably thrilled to be engaging the Master in debate, as Jesus answered: “What is written in the Law?” (10:26). The young man replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (10:27). Jesus told him in verse 28, “Do this and you will live” — issuing a call to action!
Jesus then told the parable of the Good Samaritan, issued a challenge to the young lawyer, and turned his world upside down. He made it clear that it was not enough merely to memorize or debate the Word, but he must act on it.
The call of Jesus goes far beyond just hearing and memorizing his words; we must put them into practice.