June 6, 2022

Do You Hunger And Thirst For God?

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6

Every person, no matter what his age or geographic location, has certain drives which are fundamental to existence.  Among the strongest are the physical drives for food and water, but there are others, including a desire to know God, to know where we came from and what lies beyond our last breath here on earth.

When Jesus pronounced a series of blessings on people, one of them— the fourth, should you be counting—was “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6).  Here Jesus spoke of those two basic drives–the drive for food and water—but He applied them to a spiritual hunger and thirst for God.  For the sake of clarity, notice what He did not say.  He didn’t say that those who hunger and thirst for a better position, a higher salary or one with more benefits, or a more beautiful body would find satisfaction, but those who hunger and thirst for righteousness or uprightness would be filled.  In other words, those whose driving force in life is a thirst for God will be completely satisfied.

It’s an interesting word that Jesus used to describe the fulfillment that comes when you make God the focus of your life.  The same word was used of cattle which were fed or fattened with choice pasture.  It’s the picture of a cow grazing in a rich green pasture, contentedly chewing its cud.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the greatest, how would you describe your hunger and thirst for God?   Of one thing you can be sure.  Every person is driven by something, and when our priorities get out of whack, our passion for God gets shortchanged.

Some six centuries before Jesus gave us this great truth, Jeremiah had recorded the promise of God as He said, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).  But from the beginning of time God has always listened to the cry of the person who in honesty and humility says, “God, I need you.  Please help me!”

One of my favorite psalms is that of David’s when he was hiding from Saul in the desolate area of Judea near Ein Gedi, fearful of losing his very life.  With everything going against him, David took refuge in his faith.  He cried out, “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1).

David knew what physical thirst was. The geographic setting of the psalm is the desolate desert–hot, dry, and barren. But David’s point is that his thirst for God was even greater. David talked of the long hours of the night when sleep did not come when He would meditate on God and the promises of His Word, when he would ponder God’s love and care for him as a person.

Can you relate to this powerful promise that Jesus made?  He says emphatically that your hunger and thirst for God will not go unheeded, and there is one more thing that must be said.  Jesus did not put conditions on this promise.  He never said clean up your act, get spiritual, then get in line for a blessing.  He simply promised the blessing of fulfillment for those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is true” (Matthew 11:28-30).

It is still true.


Resource reading: Matthew 7:1-12