Blessed Are Those Who Hunger and Thirst For Righteousness
Standard;Mt 5:6 – Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
One of the great songs that we danced to in the sixties was “I Can't Get No Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones. It had a relentless chorus that went like this: I can't get no satisfaction, I can't get no satisfaction, 'cause I try and I try and I try and I try, I can't get no, I can't get no …..satisfaction.”
If one were to break the lyrics of the three verses of that song down, one would see that the Stones were not able to find satisfaction in knowledge, materialism, or sensual pleasure. One of the questions posed to us in this beatitude is what are you seeking that you think will satisfy you, apart from or in addition to Christ?
And the truth found in this beatitude is you can't get no satisfaction apart from Jesus Christ. You will never be satisfied until you taste of the righteousness of God. Until you taste of Christ and the food and meat that He brings to the table. Joh 4:34 Jesus said, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me,
Doing the will of the Father was what Jesus ate, and it's what He gives us to eat as well, and we find that food in His Word.
This then should be the food we seek.......His righteousness..
Let's start out with a paraphrase of this verse from the Greek. The Greek word for “hunger” literally means “pinching toil“ I've never looked at hunger that way, but the truth be known I have never really been this kind of hungry. Oh, I've had a little rumbly in my tumbly, but nothing like “pinching toil.”
If you've ever had your skin pinched for an extended period of time, you know how “nagging” that can be, and that's what we are talking about here,,,,a nagging impulse or hunger for righteousness, that won't go away until it is fed.
And so we can say in paraphrase, “How fortunate are those who have a nagging craving and a thirst in their soul for the right things of God, they shall be satisfied.”
This fourth beatitude very logically follows the first three.
In the first beatitude we have those who recognize their spiritual bankruptcy and who enter the kingdom of God through the spiritual richness of Christ freely given to them by grace through faith.
In the second beatitude, God opens our eyes to our sins, and we have the desire to repent, mourning over sin and desiring to turn from it.
In the third beatitude, we have the surrendering of our strength to Jesus, allowing Him to rule, and in this fourth beatitude we have an overwhelming desire to find out what His rule really means. We earnestly yearn to ingest His rules and live by them, just as someone would earnestly seek food and water if they were starving and parched.
This fourth beatitude is something that God gives to every true believer. A hungry and thirsty person doesn't have to be told that they are hungry or thirsty...they just are, and when you come to faith in Christ, you will have a yearning to experience righteousness in your life and to have others experience it in theirs.
And so it is for the believer, God has created a hunger and thirst for righteousness in their soul and they are fortunate because He promises to satisfy it.
This fourth beatitude is the God given gift of sanctification, the deep desire to be holy, to be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect. To be holy as He is holy:
Le 11:45 'For I am the LORD who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
God delivered you from your Egypt from your sin through faith in Jesus now seek to satisfy this God-given hunger and thirst for righteousness by setting yourself apart from the world, and doing His will. In the exodus, we have a picture of this beatitude, as we see the Israelites, completely relying on God (meek) hungering and thirsting and God supplying them with manna and water.
But are we really hungry and thirsty for righteousness? Here's a quick test. A hungry person will not ask for bread and a pair of pants. All he wants is bread. A thirsty person won't ask for a glass of water and a television set. All the hungry cares about is bread, and all the truly thirsty care about is water.
We are not really hungry if we want something in addition to Christ or if we desire to pick and choose what we will believe in Scripture.
Jesus is the bread of life, and the source of living water. He and His righteousness is all we need. We are not truly hungry and thirsty for righteousness if we ask the Father to give us Christ and __________ you fill in the blank.
Is there anything in that blank that you feel you must have in order to be fully satisfied with your life? Is it the knowledge, material goods or sensual pleasure that the Rolling Stones were looking for in their song about satisfaction?
If so then you are a member of what this past Thursday's edition of Portals of Prayer called “the restless righteous,” Those who often find themselves off track as they pursue earthly goals that never satisfy at the expense of pursuing the King of Righteousness.
It's not that we have to set these things aside, it's just that they must never become more important than the righteousness of God in our lives. God does not deny us the blessings of knowledge, material goods, or sensual pleasure. Just don't make them a higher priority than His righteousness, and keep them in line and in accordance with His word.
An example of this is found in Heb 7:1,2,6, “ For this Melchizedek, King of Salem, Priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, and to Him, Melchizedek) Abraham apportioned a tenth of everything. He is first by translation of His name, King of Righteousness.” (v6) See how great this man was to whom Abraham the patriarch gave a tenth of the spoils!”
Melchizedek was none other than the pre-incarnate Christ, the King of Righteousness, and Abraham demonstrated by tithing that righteousness was more important to him than material goods. And we read that Abraham was blessed by Melchizedek because of it. Abraham's satisfaction came from righteousness rather than material goods.
Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. God will disperse these things to you as He sees fit.
Does a nursing child have to be told that it is hungry or thirsty? Neither then should we need to be told. “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” (1 Peter 2:2,3)
Those who hunger for the righteousness spelled out in the Word of God will receive what they need to grow, they will be fed!
Jer 15:16 says, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by Your name O Lord, God of hosts.”
You will not grow up to salvation without being fed on the Word of God!
This is an ongoing process. The word “satisfied,” from this beatitude is a synonym for fodde