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 Psalm 34:8 – Right is Right

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Right is Right

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him” (Psalm 34:8)

When I was little and wanted something to eat, my mother asked, “What about a banana, dear?” That sounded good and I responded, “Yes.” She brought out a thing that was in the shape of a banana, but I observed as she handed it to me that it was nearly black in color. I made a face and told her I would not eat it, whatever it was. “It’s spoiled!” I complained. She then said that the banana is at its sweetest when it is that color. “Try it,” she urged, peeling the banana back a little bit as she spoke. I made another face, but did take a tiny taste. She was RIGHT! It was good! It was sweeter than a regular banana. I ate the whole thing – and liked it!

In college, certain authors presented ideas that affected my thinking for a long time. One of them wrote an essay we shared in an English class. It was by H. G. Wells and was called “Might is Right,” which presented what was for me the shocking revelation that the stronger one in a conflict would always win. I had previously thought that if you are “nice” enough, good things will happen, but suddenly it seemed obvious that life did not support such an idea. And “survival of the fittest” is indeed true - except for God, who makes things right.

In traffic these days, I notice that you have to move suddenly in order to successfully change lanes or the other drivers just won’t let you in. If you signal your intention in advance, most of them will block you, and we are drawn to the conclusion that you must signal AS you are changing lanes, rather than doing it before you start to turn; then move quickly before they can stop you. Such a decision gives lip-service to the law that you must signal a lane change in advance and it also enables you to quickly get in front of that other car without being stopped. How sad.  It’s not only true in driving, but every area of life seems to carry the same message – “Might is Right.”

Most people are “takers,” grabbing everything they can – the world is filled with those on the lookout for something they can get without earning it. And interestingly enough, such people are offended by OTHERS when THEY are caught in the act of taking, which describes another facet of our world – we are indignant when others are exposed for doing what we do. You might want to read about it. Paul the Apostle gave us precisely that observation in Romans 2:1 and its context, when he said, “You are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself, for you who judge practice the same things.

The very fabric of this world strongly suggests that you have to take everything you can get in life because nobody will give you anything. The struggle of life is indeed real, and unfortunately that makes it difficult for us to understand the free gift of God in Jesus Christ.

But there’s more to life than just getting everything you can. Any happiness you achieve by being the first kid on your block to rule the world, just won’t last. Even if you do manage to get more than the rest of us, it will soon be gone. You will be struck by a reversal in the stock market, a hostile takeover of your holdings, sudden criminal prosecution, Alzheimer’s disease and death. You need the Lord. We all do. It’s time for us all to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8) and discover the wonder of His love – forever.

When the Lord Jesus was here on earth, He taught us a lot. His mission was not merely to teach us; He was here to die for our sins. We needed a Savior far more than we needed an Educator, but fortunately for us, He lovingly taught us as well. We learned more from His three years of ministry than we have from millions of educators, theologians and philosophers, over the thousands of years humanity has lived on this earth.

He revealed to us the true value of things. Through His words and actions, we find what is REALLY important in life. We can learn to look up from that which is merely superficial and place our trust in the Lord. Outward appearances and temporary victories just aren’t enough. He said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-20).

It is amazing that when we become willing to “taste and see that the Lord is good,” we find that He is indeed wonderful. Unlike that banana I ate as a child, He is a lasting Wonder, offered to us all. I ate the banana and then, after awhile, I wanted something ELSE to eat because I was hungry again. But the Lord will SATISFY you, deeply; and the more you receive of Him, the more complete you will be. It’s true for us all. And He does things in and through us that are remarkable in every way. We discover “Right is Right” – in Him.

A week ago, I was privileged to be invited to speak at the “Pastoral Installation” service for Pastor Carl A. Johnson, in Los Angeles. Four of us were selected to share “Personal Expressions” about that good man of God, and Dr. Elliott J. Mason of World Renewal Ministries gave the Installation Message. When I met Dr. Mason before the service, I did not know who he was, but noticed that his voice was very weak and he had difficulty standing. Whoever he was, it seemed that age had struck him down. And then, a couple of hours later, I was far more surprised than when I was a child and ate that banana!

The power of the Lord came upon the man. As I listened to him, I had the distinct thought, “At last, I have heard a PREACHER; after all these years, I have REALLY heard a man of God!” Dr. Mason’s stature changed; he stood straight and tall. His voice deepened and not another sound was heard in the Abiding Love church because of the power of his words. He spoke about what it means to be a pastor, to shepherd others in the power and love of God. I sat straighter in my chair and leaned forward, as everybody else in the place no doubt also did. His message can be summed up in these words: Listen to the Lord in all that you do, and don’t try to do anything for Him until God Himself leads you to do it. A lot of what we call “Christian” activity is really just human effort. Unlike H. G. Wells, this man understands what life is all about. As our Scripture for today says, “blessed is the man,” the person, “who trusts in the Lord.” Let’s pray:

Father, we want to “taste” the good You offer and so we trust in Your Son. We place our faith in Him. Help us to follow Him, now and forever. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries

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Write to: Letters@FridayStudy.org

"While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)
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