July 9: Beatitude #4- Matthew 5:6 “Hunger for Righteousness”
Beatitudes are the DNA for a Christian…Blessed equals Approved by God. Beatitude #1: Poor in Spirit…Beggarly poor…Come with Empty Hands. Beatitude #2: Mourn…Connected to #1…Because I am a sinner I confess my sin (mourn) Beatitude #3: The outcome of the first two Beatitudes brings me to Humility and I become gentle and Meek (Not Proud!)
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied”
- The 4th Beatitude sets forth the menu and appetite which brings spiritual health.
- Here Jesus simply tells us that if we really want to be satisfied, content, happy, filled with joy…we need to seek righteousness.
- It is all about the heart’s desire. Psalm 37:4, 5 “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:”
It means that our heart desires to conform to God’s Will and to become like Him. That is that to long after the practical righteousness which the Beatitudes represent.
GILL’s Commentary says, “To “hunger and thirst” after this, supposes a want of righteousness, which is the case of all men; a sense of want of it, which is only perceived by persons spiritually enlightened; a discovery of the righteousness of Christ to them, which is made in the Gospel, and by the Spirit of God; a value for it, and a preference of it to all other righteousness; and an earnest desire after it, to be possessed of it, and found in it; and that nothing can be more grateful than that, because of its perfection, purity, suitableness, and use: happy souls are these”.
KEY: The one who hungers and thirsts and wants the “Character of the Kingdom”, is the one who pants after the fruit of the Spirit and wants God’s will and all it entails is who Christ is speaking of in Matthew 5:6.
POINT: “It is not what you can believe. Rather, it is what you obey that determines your Spiritual Destiny!
It is a Desperate Hungering:
- This call to pursue conformity to God’s Will is not just a casual suggestion. Christ’s words are remarkably intense in that they refer to the strongest of human impulses.
- You and I may not relate to this thought because when we are thirsty we just turn on the faucet. And none of us really understand intense hunger. However, the average Palestinian in that day clearly understood how near they were to thirst and hunger from one day to the next.
- Additionally the thought here is that it is Durative, “Blessed are those who (Continually) thirst and hunger (starve) for Righteousness.
King David clearly understood this hunger for Righteousness: Psalm 63:1 When he was in the Desert of Judah. “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water”
- Christ says we are Blessed/Approved when we continually seek His Righteousness, always thirsting and always hungering for Him.
- The attitude of Hungering and Thirsting for Righteousness rules out sleek, self-satisfied, half-hearted religion.
- It is amazing to me just how easy it is to get caught up into the realities of life and become comfortable and content with a life of lesser or limited devotion.
When we heed Gods Word…His Spirit will burn within us a desire…a thirst and hunger to conform to Christ and His Righteousness!
- Christians that are Blessed by God are those who are “Discontent” with where they are in Christ.
- They understand that they are Spiritually Bankrupt and they mourn (instead of being satisfied) of where they are in light of what God wants them to become.
A Hungerer’s Reward: There is a further reason we are blessed, and that moves us to the second part of the Beatitude. We are blessed for we shall be “Filled”.
- This truth was anticipated by the Virgin Mary in the Magnificat Luke 1:53 when she said, “He has filled the hungry with good things” (but has sent the rich away empty.)
- The paradox is clear…Those who are Hungry will be filled/satisfied!
Hungry and satisfied at the same time? The Paradoxical Satisfaction! There was an advertising campaign for a potato chip company that said, “Bet you can’t eat just one!” The idea of this ad campaign helps us understand a spiritual cycle.
- The more one conforms to God’s will, the more fulfilled and content one becomes. But that, in turn, spawns a greater discontent. Our hunger increases and intensifies in the very act of being satisf
- And in Christ (Unlike anything else) we continue to be more satisfied and more filled as we conform to Christ’s image and will.
Philippians 3:8-11 “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”
Complete Satisfaction Comes from One Source Only!!!
John 4:14: “But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
John 6:35: “Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty”.
Eternal satisfaction: Luke 22: 29-30: “And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
God’s Call: A Profound Hunger! However, You are what you eat! If your hunger is for the World’s things there will be No real temporal or eternal satisfaction.
The First 3 Beatitudes Provide Three steps to Righteousness:
- Realizing we are Spiritually Bankrupt. “Come to Jesus Empty Handed!”
- Mourning this fact and repenting of our sin and the sin around us.
- Letting these first two steps develop in us a meek and gentle spirit.
POINT: “It is Not what you can Believe. Rather, it is what you Obey that determines your Spiritual Destiny!
The toughest part of being a Christian isTrusting that what God offers You is going to Make You Completely Satisfied! The question each of Us need to ask is…What is Keeping Me from Running Flat Out for Jesus Christ!
1 Corinthians 9:25-27 the Apostle Paul puts it this way, “25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”