Saturday, March 25, 2017

Beatitude: Hunger and Thirst

Beatitude: Those Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness

Beatitude means being in a state if utmost bliss, according to the Meriam-Webster Dictionary. Well here is a list of utmost blissfulness from Jesus's Sermon on the Mount:

Matthew 5  (ESV)

The Beatitudes:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

Today's beatitude is on those who hunger and thirst for righteousness sake.

There are five key words in this beatitude. (1) Blessed are those who will live with God in heaven. (2) hunger, and (3) thirst - we all know what those are. (4) Righteousness, and (5) satisfied. We shall discuss the latter two more fully.

Let's address satisfied first. When are hunger has subsided because of nourishment we are satisfied. Our craving for food no longer exists because the need has been met. In fact when we are satisfied with food, the desire for more is in the past.

It's much the same way of drink. Water, next to air, is the most needed thing we need for life, and even air must contain moisture to breath healthily. In fact, the bodies of men are about 60% water. Water is part of us. If we dehydrate, we get sick. Only water satisfies that craving for liquid nourishment. (Don't drink the Kool-Aid though because something in it makes it unsatisfying - false teaching).  When we drink water until we're full, our thirst has long before that been quenched.

Satisfied is when our focus is no longer on food and water because we have had a sufficient amount. On the other hand, hunger and thirst for righteousness sake is can be satisfied only by two things, neither of which is self-induced: the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
John 6:35 (KJV)  "And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."
The bread of life satisfies both hunger and thirst because Jesus' body contains water.
 John 4:10 (KJV)  Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water."
The thirst for righteousness sake is satisfied by Jesus's living water. That is the blood he shed for the sins of mankind. Only his water completely satisfies, all else is Kool-Aid.

In the Old Testament it was by these two things which satisfied.
John 6:58 (KJV) "This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever."
 Nehemiah 9:14 (KJV) "And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant: 15 And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them. 16 But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments..."
The bread which came from heaven didn't satisfy because that gift was rejected by those who tired of it (John 6:58).  It kept them alive, but wasn't the substance for eternal life, albeit it was symbolic of Jesus. Even with the bread of life who satisfies, some still reject him.

Moses struck the rock twice and waters flowed forth to satisfy the thirst of the Hebrew people. This free water was tied to obedience to the commands of God. Even Moses struck the rock twice in an effort to deliver the water on his own terms. God told Moses to strike the rock once, but he did twice. That which flowed was not living water because it came forth by disobedience. It quenched the thirsts of the people, but it could not satisfy them. Even Moses wasn't allowed into the promised land because he had it his way (ala Burger King), not God's way.

In the wilderness, people hungered and thirsted, but not for righteousness sake, but for their own sakes!

This brings up the fourth word in the beatitude: righteousness sake. Doing things for wrong reasons doesn't please God, and when he isn't pleased, what is his isn't satisfying for those who do things for their own sakes.
1 John 2:29 (KJV) "If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him." 
 1 John 3:7 (KJV) "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous."
The test for righteousness is what we do after we are born of Jesus  or born-again. From the last passage, it is clear that being righteous is being like Jesus. What was Jesus noted for? His love! He loved us so much that he died in our place, and as such we are to love him that much. He expects that! Righteousness is being as much like Jesus as is humanly possible, and that it loving him and others as we do our own self. The love of self diminishes, as the Bread and Water replenishes.

Being righteous means changing from the old creature to the new. That is the evidence that someone is born-again. That condition is the ultimate and final satisfaction. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness sake are completely satisfied by the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

One must hunger and thirst for righteousness to be ultimately satisfied. Unfortunately, among even Christians that hunger and thirst appears to be satisfied with the blessings that we have here on earth. Many live their unchanged lives without ever hungering and thirsting for true manna from heaven and living waters from the rock. They may have fire-insurance so to speak, but their hearts are not even on fire. Go for the water of life. It will quench the fire which should be there. It is not of ourselves as it was for Moses, but is a free gift, which Moses didn't accept. He didn't get satisfied with entry into the promised land as he expected.

No comments:

Post a Comment