Matthew 5:6 – Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
Moving to the next of the Beatitudes, the Lord says those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, will be filled.
Righteousness is defined as behavior that is morally justifiable or right, characterized by accepted standards of justice, virtue or uprightness. The Bible’s standard of human righteousness is God’s own perfection. God’s law is the plumbline to measure human righteousness. Simply put, righteousness is right-standing with God.
The Lord says, hunger and thirst for righteousness are yet another indicator of being His disciples. Hunger and thirst for righteousness are a natural progression for a person whose heart desires poverty of spirit, mourns for sin and seeks meekness. The Lord uses the metaphor of hunger and thirst to describe the kind of desire a disciple is to have for righteousness.
A disciple is to hunger and thirst after righteousness with the same longing, intensity and desperation, as one would for food and water, which are basic needs of any human being. Hunger and thirst are signs of health and are often a driving force, that desperately need to be satisfied. Jesus says, it is with that kind of intensity that a disciple is to hunger and thirst for righteousness.
We see Christians who often hunger and thirst for many things that include power, authority, success, comfort, happiness. How often do we come across those who hunger and thirst for righteousness? What does this look like in a Christian?
A person who hungers and thirsts for righteousness is one who longs to have a righteous nature, one who wants to be sanctified and made more holy. This person longs to continue in God’s righteousness and wants to see and promote His righteousness in the world. ” He does not hunger and thirst that his own political party may get into power, but he does hunger and thirst that righteousness may be done in the land. He does not hunger and thirst that his own opinions may come to the front, and that his own sect or denomination may increase in numbers and influence, but he does desire that righteousness may come to the fore.” (Spurgeon).
Jesus promises to fill, refresh and satisfy those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. This however, is a strange kind of filling that both satisfies us and keeps longing for more.
What do you and I pursue like we are starved and parched? What is it that drives us and all that we do?
Lord give me a heart that is desperately starved and parched for your righteousness, I pray.