Hunger and Thirst…
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Matthew 5:6
Chances are that you are at least vaguely familiar with this verse. It is a portion of the scripture we commonly refer to as “The Beatitudes” I have been pondering this specific one recently. As you probably noted, I have a thing for scriptures about hunger and thirst. This website is subtitled, “The Sound of the Satisfied Soul” which comes from Psalm 107:9 which reads, “For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.”
So I have been trying to understand the fullness of this. I mean we have heard many different teachings about this. But, I really wanted to grasp it for myself because I knew that God was going to speak something awesome into my heart. When we think of righteousness we often have interesting thoughts. We think of Righteousness a right living, which in a way it is. However often times we think it is something we do.
But as I began to pray into this, I began to see something more. “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” Isaiah 64:6 Then in Romans 3:10 it says, “As it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;” Well, where was this written? This is a reference to Psalm 14:1-3
“The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good. The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there are any who understand, Who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one.”
So this dilemma has lead some to believe that when Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness…” That He meant that we should try to do good. That we should make it our Goal. If righteousness is something we do, then we are in trouble. Because none of us can be righteous. Its just not possible, if I had to try to be righteous, I would be failing so hard!
None of us can strive for righteousness, because no matter how “good” we do we will be so far from righteous. This dilemma has also yielded another fruit. Apathy. There are some people who become so discouraged by how unrighteous they are that they settle for a life of wickedness. It is more or less an attitude that says “I can’t, so why bother?”
This is not good. Remember THERE IS A DITCH ON BOTH SIDES OF THE NARROW ROAD. It is easy to fall in either one.
So what does Jesus really mean? What is He really saying? How does one hunger and thirst for something they can never achieve? I think the answer is so glaringly obvious that I feel like a fool for not seeing it so clearly in the past. Righteousness is not an act, or a state of being. RIGHTEOUSNESS IS JESUS. It is not a concept, but a person. When Jesus was telling us to hunger and thirst for righteousness, He was telling us to hunger and thirst for Him. The best part is that He then continues by telling us that if we hunger and thirst we will be filled.
Now this might sound like an odd interpretation. However, it really isn’t that far fetched. Jesus alludes to himself many times allegorically, and even has gone so far as to tell us we should “Eat His flesh, and drink His blood.” in John 6:56 In fact in this portion He tells us that if we eat of His flesh and drink of His blood, that He abides in us and we in Him. That is awesome.
So perhaps when Jesus says that He is going to fill those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, He means that we should hunger and thirst after Him, and He will fill us with Himself. You see, this is how it should be. The only one who was every truly righteous was Jesus, and without Him none can achieve righteousness.
So, let’s hunger and thirst for Jesus. Let’s Thirst for Jesus. Let’s allow him to fully fill us. Instead of feasting on a table of Death, lets feast on the table of Life. Jesus not only sets for us the table, but He sets Himself upon it and says FEAST! Let’s feast on Jesus and Let His life fill us.
The Bible says this, “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” 1st John 3:2 If we want to become like Jesus, and become like righteousness we need to see Him. When we see Him we become like Him.
Some of us work really hard ot be righteous, but it doesn’t work. The answer to righteousness is the Grace of God. Lean into Christ allow Him to conform you to His image. Allow Him to lead you. Listen for His voice, and do what He says. I know sometimes it gets overwhelming, but He is a good God, and He is for you.
Our Lord is the God of Truth, and if you simply listen and obey, He will teach you what pleases Him, and then He will wrap you in His grace to enable you to do everything He has for your life. What a Good king we serve.