“Blessed Are The Hungry And Thirsty”

Blessed Are The Hungry And Thirsty (Mat. 5:6)

Wade Webster

For several weeks we have been considering the attitude that we are to have in worship (John 4::23-24). To analyze and adjust our attitudes we have been examining the beatitudes of the Bible. This week we will consider Matthew 5:6: “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”

The Greek word translated as hunger means to crave ardently and the Greek word translated as thirst means to thirst painfully. As you know, hunger and thirst are some of the strongest desires that we have as human beings. No doubt, that is why Jesus used them here. Perhaps, we have all heard someone say, “I am starving to death” or “I am dying of thirst.” In all likelihood, they weren’t. They were simply using hyperbole. They were emphasizing how hungry or thirsty they were. Jesus was using these very strong drives that dwell within us to describe the desire that should be in us for spiritual things. Jesus was not saying that physical and spiritual desires are equal. They aren’t. We should crave the spiritual far more than the physical (Job 23:12; Mt. 6:33; John 6:27; Col. 3:1-2). Sadly, many of us don’t. We stuff our bodies and starve our souls. If this is the case, then our appetites and attitudes need adjustment. We should come to worship hungry and leave worship full.

Two men come to mind when I think of hungering and thirsting for righteousness - Job and David. In the first chapter of Job, we find the patriarch offering sacrifices for his children (Job 1:4-5). Nothing all that surprising there. That’s what patriarchs did. However, as we continue to probe the context, we are impressed. Job was not offering sacrifices for the known sins of his sons and daughters. He was offering sacrifices for what his children MAY have done in their HEARTS. Furthermore, we are told that he did this continuously. These actions reveal a heart that is hungering and thirsting for God. Later in the book we read, “Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12). I believe that this is a living definition of hungering and thirsting for righteousness. Now, let’s consider David. Two times in the Psalms David spoke of thirsting for God. He compared his thirst to that of a deer running from the hunter and to that of a dry land where no water is. He wrote, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? ….O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. (Psalms 42:1-2; 63:1-2).

Both of these images reveal David’s deep and abiding desire for God.

As we get ready to worship this week, let’s make sure that we are hungering and thirsting for righteousness. What a shame it would be if we are so full of the things of the world that we have no room for God to give us far better things in worship!