Monday, 10 May 2010

God tastes good

Last night we were looking at 1 Peter 1v22-2v3 and I was struck in studying particularly by verses 2 and 3; “crave pure spiritual milk, so that you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

When a baby cries because it is hungry there is only one way to stop it crying. You feed it, it craves, it must have that nourishment and it won’t stop drawing your attention to that fact until its hunger is satisfied. Be like that says Peter, desire it so much that you will accept nothing else.

But what is it these believers are to crave? “pure spiritual milk”. But what is that?

Given all that has gone before (23-25)lots of people argue that it is the bible – Peter is exhorting these believers to feed on the Bible, to read it, to study it, to think about it and undoubtedly that is a good thing to do but is that what Peter is really saying?

If we look at (3)Peter continues the feeding idea “now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” Peter encourages them to keep longing for what they have already had a taste of, what has already tasted good to them and what is it that? They have tasted “that the Lord is good.” It is the Lord he wants them to desire more of.

It is a quote from Psalm 34:8-9. Psalm 34 is composed by David when he is delivered from danger and praises God for that deliverance. It is a song of praise from someone who has gone through dark times with opponents pressing in, feeling isolated and fearful just as these believers are but who testifies that God is not found wanting, that the LORD delivers. That God’s people can have confidence in hardship because of the character, promises and nature of God. The call then is to live the rest of life in the light of that reality.

And that is what Peter is picking up here. You have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, supremely in Jesus Christ, in the hope into which you were born, keep on longing for and feeding that appetite to understand more of the goodness of God.

Back at the start of the letter Peter fleshes out that goodness 1:3 “In his mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.” You have tasted the goodness of God in your salvation long to taste it again and again, get an appetite for it, crave it. Want a better understanding of it, thirst for it because by it you will grow up in your salvation.

Have living spiritual taste buds in your heart that taste Christ as more desirable than anything else in this world, that long for the satisfaction the gospel of God’s grace brings, that long for God – who keeps you and your inheritance and who will one day reveal your salvation fully to you when Christ comes again. He is good you have tasted it, do not doubt it but keep on tasting it again and again.

This is more than just a desire to read the bible. Sometimes you buy a book you can’t put down, you love the characters, get caught up in the story and can’t wait to find out what happens. But you don’t long to know the author behind it.

This is more than just a longing for knowledge. This is a longing that can only be filled by knowing the goodness of God revealed to us in the Bible. We don’t long to read the Bible, we long to know and taste the goodness of God revealed to us in the Bible.

What is it that these under pressure believers need? It is to taste again the goodness of God, the grace of God first experienced in their salvation, revealed to them in the enduring word of God.
Crave pure spiritual milk, you’ve tasted that God is good keep longing to taste it again and again as you treasure Christ and read his word.

How’s our appetite for God’s goodness? Are we reading the bible for reading the bibles sake or because we desire to taste again God’s goodness, his love and his grace. That will enable us to stand, to put off the Gospel ASBO’s we see in verse 1 and to love as we are loved.

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