Summary: Understanding the importance of feeding on the things of God.
A Starving Belly
In The Land Of Plenty
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Introduction: Brothers and sisters I believe there is a famine in the land today. Even though we live in a land of plenty, even though we live in a time of bountiful tables, we are spiritually starving. We live in a day were most people are more concerned about fitness, fame, fortune, and food than finding God. People today are living high on the hog with no regard for the things of God.
I have had the privilege, as all of you know to travel all over the world. I have seen first hand people who are starving to death. People who have know idea where their next meal is coming from or even if there will be a next meal. What a heart breaking experience this has been for your pastor. But let me tell you what is more heart breaking than seeing starving children and that is a spiritually starving people.
In our scripture text today we see that Christ said blessed are the ones that hunger and thirst after Him. What I need and what the church needs is a real hunger for the things of God. We will not know true living, we will not know true joy, and we will not know true worship until we begin to hunger and thirst after God.
We have been studying in Sunday school the book of Nehemiah. In this study we have seen that the children of Israel have been brought back to Jerusalem after a hundred and forty years of being exiled to Babylon. After Nehemiah led them into rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem in only fifty-two days, he leads them in building up spiritual walls. I want to read to you this account in Nehemiah 9:1-3.
9:1 Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them.
2 And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers.
3 And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the LORD their God.
Can you imagine listening to the word of God read for six hours, or confessing your sins for six hours, and then worshiping for six hours? You might ask, “how could the children of Israel do this?” I believe that they could do this because they were hungry for the word. It had been One Hundred and Forty years since they last heard from God. They had a hunger like never before. They so wanted to here from God like their forefathers did.
I wonder how hungry are we today? Our text tells us that the Lord will bless us if we will hunger and thirst after Him. How is it that we have become a people so full yet so empty? When is the last time you had hunger pains for the food that God has for you? Do you crave the things of God? Let’s see how hungry we are this morning.
1.) The Desire to Feed on Heavenly Food:
a.) There is the longing. David said in best in Psalms 63:1
O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek; you my soul thirsts for, you my body longs for, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
b.) There is the thirsting.
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
Dr. Hammond, in his practical Catechism, distinguishes between hunger and thirst. Hunger is a desire of food to sustain, Thirst is the desire of drink to refresh.
(From Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible.)
c.) There is the seeking. Listen to what Jesus said in Matthew 6:33
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
2.) The Demands of Feeding on Heavenly Food:
a.) Will require a change of priorities.
27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."
b.) Will require a change in our pretension. Definition: self-importance, ambition, and affection.
28 Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"