From the beginning, God’s plan for His children was that they would taste and see that He is oh so good. Genesis 2:9 says, “The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground – trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.” This is the garden that God put Adam and Eve in, one that was full of fruits and vegetables that looked beautiful and tasted as good as they looked. God, in his graciousness, told them they could eat of any tree in the garden except one. All that beautiful food was theirs to partake of every day for eternity.
God was so blatant in His display of gracious giving, even Satan saw the Lord’s favor towards Adam and Eve, and in his cunningness, led his tempting words to Eve with a distortion of God’s gift. Genesis 3:1 tells us that the serpent said to Eve, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” No, Satan, actually, He didn’t; He said they could eat of any of them but one. In a moment of strength, Eve argues with Satan, telling him that God told them they could eat of any tree but one- the one in the middle.
Eve’s downfall wasn’t that she didn’t know God’s command. She falls when Satan shows her the one fruit out of all of them that she was told by God she couldn’t eat. Scripture says that when she laid eyes on the fruit, she saw that it was “good for food and pleasing to the eye” (Genesis 3:6). She saw and she tasted.
Adam and Eve had a buffet of the best foods available to them, and instead of recognizing God’s gracious gifts all around them, they desired the one fruit they weren’t allowed because it looked to be even more pleasing than all the others. They stopped delighting in all that God had graciously given them because they couldn’t look away and not taste the one thing they couldn’t have.
I’m no different than Adam and Eve. His calling for me is still the same. As a Christian, I’m called to “taste and see that the Lord is good”. I may not be in the Garden of Eden with access to all the food God created that was not tainted by sin, but I have access to the fullness of God in Jesus. Everything that I could ever need can be found in Him and true satisfaction can only be found in His presence.
But, the lure of other things that might be more pleasing are ever present. The world, the flesh and the devil are ever fighting for my affections. They constantly whisper in my ear, “God is keeping the best from you. He doesn’t really love you. If he did, you would have all that you ever wanted and more. Come and taste this fruit, it’s so much better than what God is offering you.” And, wow, those temptations are so difficult to combat. It is so hard to “taste and see that the Lord is good” when we are being bombarded on all sides with arguments to the contrary.
The only way to “taste and see that the Lord is good” and even better than anything anyone else can offer us, is to spend time in His presence, experiencing the goodness and joy and pleasure that only He can provide. Until we can bathe ourselves in His grace, we will never be able to convince ourselves of the truth that what God provides is so much better than what the world has to offer.
For me, I must practice sitting in His presence daily. I’m not talking merely about prayer or Bible study time. I mean sitting still and quiet allowing Him to awash me in His presence before the rest of the world gets the chance to entice me with the subpar masked in splendor. I have to delight in Him first thing before ever getting a chance to delight in anything or anyone else. Out of that space, I can pray and read scripture. Scripture is the Christian’s line of defense against the evil one’s attacks. Tasting and seeing that the Lord is so much better than anything else requires practicing offense and defense. For me, sitting still in His presence is my offensive strategy, it’s how I get ahead of my own sinful desires. Arming myself with God’s Word is my defensive strategy to fight the schemes of the devil set up to steal the joy that can only be found in Jesus. Everything else is counterfeit.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 (NIV)