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Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for rigghteousness for they will be filled.

Posted 05-19-09 at 07:21 AM by Song of Mercy
This verse is such a beautiful verse. It builds upon the foundation laid by the preceding three versus and reveals Christ knowledge and wisdom. Realize that Christ did not have a dictionary or a thesaurus; He most likely did not have paper. Rather He was trained by the reading of Godís word on the Sabbath (similar to church and held on Saturday.) Additionally, He most likely did not formally study the words of the Old Testament due to the financial condition of His family. The question arises, how did Christ build a foundation if He did not even know exactly what He was going to say in advance? This passage of scripture is marked by the hand of God clearly revealed in the Messiah.

In the first Beatitude we studied what the phrase Ďpoor in Spirití meant. Together we learned that it is an understanding of oneís personal need of God. Furthermore it implies that the one in need is actually a beggar of God. Remember in this verse we discussed that in the time of Christ there were many who were in an extremely disadvantaged condition, implying a great number of the poor and needy were in attendance of the meeting. Also, it is a direct and authoritative disapproval of those in attendance that shunned the poor and would have been an offense to some.

Next we learned in the second beatitude that mourners are those who yearn for the presence of God. Someone who is yearning for something implies that they probably do not have the object of their desire. Here we see how the concept of one in mourning builds on the concept of being in a poor condition. Furthermore, in the time of Jesusí ministry mourners would disfigure their faces, they would dress in humble attire and would cry aloud for the one they had lost. Their condition of mourning was known by those in the immediate area.

Finally, in the third beatitude it was discovered that the word meek was used to describe those souls who are yielded to the will of God. Thus if they were in poor and in want of either physical or spiritual nourishment, they accepted it with calm peace. If they were mourning for that which they had lost, they accepted it as they yearned with grace before the object of their desire which is God. Additionally, if they were in good or bad circumstances they were meek or humble and yielded wholly to the will of God.

Thus far we have looked at the beggars, the yearning, and the yielding before God. Next letís turn our attention to those who are hungering and thirsting for God. To begin, the word hunger in this passage refers to those who aggressively pursue God with love in a yielded manner. Now letís look at thirst. A person who is thirst is in greater need than a person who is hungry. So, again we see the building nature of Christís teaching. To thirst for righteousness is to pursue with great effort through the medium of prayer because of an extreme need of God. This is an interesting concept. Consider with me how the disciple of Christ would understand the reasons for thirst. First, to have enough water a well would be required. Though there was easily accessible water in the area it was not purified rendering it drinkable. For example, the Jordan River was very dirty and could not be used to drink from. Additionally the sea of Galilee, another potential source of water, was too salty to drink from. Therefore access to a well would be required.

When we think of wells in the New Testament it is easy to assume that people had access to public wells such as would have been found in larger cities such as Jerusalem. However, it is important to remember that many people lived in smaller areas which would require a personal well or a well shared by a few families or farmers. The very poor would potentially not have access to either. Many of the poor were those who were disease ridden and not allowed into public areas. This could lead to a desire or longing which could barely be fulfilled. Thus when Christ referred to the thirsty all the preceding teachings would be tied together giving them power to the educated. Also, they would be understood by the rejected and the poor. Next is the concept of righteousness.

This is great. First Jesus is insulting the most highly regarded attendees by reference to the beggars, to the yearning, and to the yielded. Next He attributes righteousness to the same. However, the upstanding citizens believed that their own compliance with the law, which did not address thoughts of the heart, were the vehicle to Gods blessings. They believed that their actions warranted reward. Yet here, Christ says that those who would be filled were those of the lowest stature. However, we realize that these are spiritual conditions not physical. To have an extreme need and desire for righteousness is to yearn for right thinking, right feelings and right actions in order to please God. The wonderful news is that these desires will be fulfilled by God.

Letís summarize:

Happy and worthy of congratulations from God are those who aggressively pursue God with prayer and love; they have a great need that is imperative to fill which is correct thinking, feeling, and action. Their need will be filled by God, as he promises, by virtue of the authority of Christ and by the virtue of His nature.
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