This Psalm encourages us to bless and praise God (Psalm 34:1); to literally brag about God (Psalm 34:2); to magnify God / make others to understand and appreciate God (Psalm 34:3). We should all have "God stories" - testimonies about God's work in our lives (Psalm 34:4-6). We are here to encourage others to "taste and see" God's goodness (Psalm 34:8-11).
It is in the spirit of this Psalm that Peter begins his thoughts in the second chapter of the book of I Peter. See I Peter 2:1-3. Various translations tell us to taste and see that the Lord is good/gracious; or that we should taste and see the kindness of the Lord. Let's take some time to taste some of the goodness of the Lord and see what that should produce in our lives. As we learn about God from Scripture, God Himself will guide us and develop us into the image of His Son (Isaiah 54:13; John 6:45; II Corinthians 3:18; Romans 8:28-29; 12:2; Matthew 11:28-30; Ephesians 4:20-24; II Peter 1:2-4; 3:18).
1. The Blessed God - I Peter 1:3
2. The Holy God - I Peter 1:15-16
3. The Glorious God - I Peter 4:14; 5:11
4. The Mighty God - I Peter 5:6
5. The Gracious God - I Peter 5:10 cp. 2:1-3 (KJV / NKJV)
The Gracious God - I Peter 5:10 cp. 2:1-3 (KJV / NKJV)
Our text tells us that God is the source of all grace. To be specific, mercy is not receiving what we deserve (i.e. punishment). Grace is receiving what we do not deserve (i.e. eternal glory). In order to perfect, establish, strengthen and settle us, God's grace gives us things that often cause suffering. See Romans 5:1-5; II Corinthians 12:7-10 (vs. 7 - "given"); Philippians 3:10; Hebrews 2:9-18; 4:14-16. Moses brought truth that demanded obedience. Christ brought us truth that is infused with grace and life-giving power to change us (John 1:1-5,12-14,16-17; 5:24-25; 6:63).
The word "grace" means "gift." To say that God is gracious is to say that God gives gifts. He is generous, kind and patient. See Psalm 103:1-14. We, therefore, should desire God and His gifts - hunger for Him and His goodness. See Psalm 34:8; I Peter 2:1-3; Matthew 7:7-11 [cp. Luke 11:9-13; Galatians 5:22-23]; II Peter 3:18. We should be good stewards of His gifts, using them wisely and faithfully as we minister to others. See I Corinthians 15:10; II Corinthians 5:18-21; Ephesians 3:1-12; II Timothy 2:1-7; I Peter 4:10; 5:5. We should be appreciative and thankful to God for all His grace, glorifying God through a thankful and loving spirit. See Psalm 105:1-4; Galatians 6:18; II Corinthians 4:15; 9:15; 13:11,14; Colossians 1:1-6; Hebrews 13:8-9,15.
What are some of the things God has given us?
- He gave us His Son as a ransom for the penalty of our sins; to reconcile us to Himself. See John 3:14-16; 5:24; Galatians 4:4-5; I Timothy 2:5-6; I John 4:14; II Corinthians 5:18-21.
- He gave us His Son to deliver us from the controlling power of sin, the world, and Satan. See Galatians 1:3-4; Ephesians 2:1-10; I John 5:18-20 (cp. John 16:33; II Corinthians 5:17).
- He gave us His Son to give us eternal life and establish a relationship based on His grace. Now, we are born again. Our minds are renewed. We are becoming more and more like His Son. See John 1:12-14,16-17; 3:3; 4:10,14; 10:7-10; I John 5:11-13 (cp. John 3:16-21,36; Galatians 2:20); Romans 8:28-39; Ephesians 2:8-10; 4:17-24; Titus 2:11-14; I Peter 1:18-23.
- He gave us His Son to be our King, Counsellor, Shepherd, Great High Priest, and Advocate. See Isaiah 9:6-7 (cp. Revelation 1:5-6; 11:15); 40:10-11 (cp. John 10:7-18,27-30; Hebrews 13:20-21) Hebrews 4:14-16 (cp. 2:17-18); I John 2:1; Romans 8:34.
- He gave us the Spirit of His Son to comfort, protect, instruct, correct and guide us. We have understanding because God's Spirit enlightens and teaches us through Scripture. See John 14:15-26; Acts 20:32; Galatians 4:6; Romans 8:9-16 (cp. 15:4-6, 13-14; 16:24-27); I Corinthians 2:9-16; Ephesians 3:1-12; I Thessalonians 4:8-9; I John 3:24; 4:12-13; 5:9-10.