Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Book Review: O Taste and See


O Taste and See, Mediations from the Psalms
by Gerrit Vos
Hudsonville Protestant Reformed Church Men's Society, Hudsonville, Michigan, 1983
Hardback, iii + 287pp
£8.00 + £.80 (P&P).
(Click here to order from the CPRC Bookstore)

In this heart-warming book, Gerrit Vos (1894-1968) expounds about 30 Psalms with eloquent charm. One warms to the author: his humility, his deep sense of sin, his childlike faith are all evident as he writes. Indeed, the style is so homely that you could almost imagine Vos sitting opposite you chatting about the things of God.

Every chapter is filled with Christ. Christ is the theme of the Psalms and Vos knows it! Therefore in every chapter God's amazing grace in the cross of Christ is magnified.

With a deep sense of sin, Vos appreciated grace. Only those who see themselves as wicked are awestruck by grace. Does Vos think after almost 70 years that he has outgrown the cross? Not at all! Every honest child of God must identify with Vos' confession: "You begin in the morning with the best of intentions. 'I am going to walk in harmony with my God and His law.' But when evening is come, you look upon the completed day, and you weep."

There is not only weeping (over sin), the joy of salvation, but also warnings against sin, and pointed instruction in the faith. This is a devotional (not doctrinal) work, but there is no mere sentimentalism and easy believism. Vos warns the reader, for example, against falling into presumptuous sin, and fellowship with the wicked.

Two chapters I found memorable are 'Visited by Majesty on High' which was written just after a devastating tornado hit the village where Vos ministered. "Our village received a very special visit by the Lord Christ ... God came to us, and He roared ... His footsteps were seen ... He left desolation, death, pain and misery, but also awe, the awe of the childlike fear of Jehovah," writes Vos, who has a pastor's heart, and above all, a desire to exalt God in all things. The other is 'Judah, praise of Jehovah' in which the name Judas (Judah) is explained, and Judas Iscariot is compared with God's Judas, the Lord Christ.

There is much comfort here for the trembling child of God. Believers of all ages would benefit from this book. It would be ideal for the Christian in hospital or the afflicted saint. Indeed, even those (like me) who don't normally choose devotional books may be surprised to find that they enjoy it as well.

Martyn McGeown