Ps. 34:8 - "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!"
How many parents have made engine noises as they pretended that a spoonful of food was a plane attempting a landing as they swooped it toward their infant's mouth? They were trying to convince a suspicious child to try an unknown food because the parent knew it was good (or at least good for them)!
In a similar way, we can tend to be suspicious or have uninformed ideas about God and his character. Our ideas about God can be influenced by life circumstances and how we respond to them. Our ideas can be shaped by the people around us, especially people in positions of authority. Our ideas can also be shaped by what we are directly told about God. There are many factors that influence our early concepts of who God is and what He is like.
Whatever our concept of God happens to be, the Psalmist invites to us try God again!
First, the Psalmist invites us (like children with their uninformed ideas) to experience God firsthand. "Taste...!" The Psalmist invites us to give God a chance. Don't make up your mind about him from an uninformed or prejudiced distance.
Next, his invitation is to experience the reality of God based on His divine revelation. "...see that the Lord is good!" Instead of letting your understanding be informed by circumstances outside of your control, or by the biased opinion of a third party, the Psalmist challenges us to honestly, thoroughly evaluate God based on what He has made known about Himself. The Psalmist is confident that God can handle the examination, and upon your "tasting" you will discover Him to be as good, if not better, than what you imagined!
Finally, the Psalmist encourages his readers by promising that God will become a blessed refuge to those who accept the invitation. "Blessed is the man..."
Have you been struggling with your understanding of God and His character? Has your concept of God been influenced by painful circumstances outside of your control, or by imperfect or absent authority figures? Consider Ps. 34:8 a personal invitation to rediscover God and His goodness. Ultimately, it is an invitation to discover God in the person of Jesus Christ (Heb. 1:3)!