Summary: Our deepest desire should be to hunger and thirst for righteousness, for the things of God.
11/07-Matt. 5:6-Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
Turn to matt. 5:6
Christ follows a natural, logical progression through the beatitudes
-poor in spirit-acknowledge our need for him, our spiritual bankruptcy
-mourn-over the cause of that bankruptcy, our sin
-meek-we are to be humble and gentle towards others, give up or rights and our power and submit to God-this is allowing our spiritual poverty to be reflected in our actions towards God and others
Read Matt. 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
This morning I want us to understand what Christ was saying here– That Our deepest desire should be to hunger and thirst for righteousness, for the things of God.
Hunger Video (from Highway Video)
Do we really understand what real hunger is? What we were watching there the people they were talking about, that those statistics refer to. That is real hunger.
If we’re honest few of us have ever known real physical hunger. Not the kind where you are hungry because you physically need food and water or you will die. Honestly, I don’t know if I can even imagine what that would be like.
I’ve been “hungry” for something, had a desire, craving– but I have never known real hunger and real thirst.
Look for context and try to see passages through first century eyes.
This was not new imagery for the Jews-Jim already read Psalm 107:1-9-Image of one who is hungry and thirsty wandering in the desert, they cry out to God and God satisfies them, meets thier need-”the hungry soul he fills with good things.”
Exodus– Children of Israel in exile-wandering in the desert-hungry & thirsty-cried to God for help-rescued them & filled them
The passage in Psalms was even referenced by Mary in her magnificat-Luke 1:53-her song of praise after learning she would be the mother of the Messiah
So this was Familiar to all Jews, part of their hymnbook memorized by all of them as children, it was part of their history
Here Christ Takes the general principle “He satisfies the thirsty & fills the hungry with good things.” and applies it to the spiritual realm “hunger& thirst for righteousness”
That heart cry of the Jews to God asking Him to sustain them, give them what they need for life-That must be our heart cry spiritually-Just as food and water are required for physical life, Christ says that righteousness is required for spiritual life.
How deep is the desire we are to have for God’s righteousness?
Illustration-Story that occurred During WW I and the British liberation of Palestine.
British were coming up from Beersheeba chasing the Turkish soilders out of the land. In the pursit, the British army outdistanced the camel train that was carrying their water.
Soon their water bottles were empty and slowly many of the soilders began to become dehydrated and some even died because they had no water.
They knew that there were wells at Sheria and so they pressed on, knowing that if they did not take the wells there by nightfall thousands of them would die.
Listen to what Major v. Gilbert wrote about what happened that day:
“We fought that day as men fight for their lives. We entered Sheria on the heels of the retreating Turks. The first object which met our view were the great stone cisterns full of cold, clear drinking water. In the still night air the sound of water running into the tanks could be distinctly heard, maddening in its nearness; yet not a man murmured when orders were given for the battalions to fall in, two deep, facing the cisterns.”
As the water was distributed-first to the wounded, then to those who were to be on guard duty, then company by company. It took 4 hours until the last man had had his drink. During that time the men had stood no more than 20 feet away from thousands of gallons of water.
This is how Major Gilbert concludes his account:
“I believe that we all learned our first real Bible lesson on that march from Beersheba to Sheria wells. If such were our thirst for God, for righteousness, for His will in our life, a consuming, all embracing preoccupying desire, how rich in the fruits of the Spirit would we be.”
That is the level of desire that we are to have for righteousness.
So if that is the desire Christ tells us we are to have then there are
2 questions we must answer:
What is righteousness
Righteousness biblically has at least 3 aspects: Legal, moral and social
Legal righteousness is justification-having a right relationship with God.
This is the hunger and thirst for the righteousness of God that leads to salvation.
Gen. 15:6, James 2:23-Abraham believed God, so God declared him to be righteous.