What Do The Righteous Hunger And Thirst For?
By: Brian A. Yeager
Being hungry and thirsty are strong words that describe a strong desire for a certain thing. The word hunger is defined by one lexicon like this: “a feeling of discomfort or weakness caused by lack of food, coupled with the desire to eat” (New Oxford American Dictionary). The word thirsty is defined in a similar, interesting manner: “feeling a need to drink something: having or showing a strong desire for something” (New Oxford American Dictionary). I always get an image of a person walking through the desert and longing for something to eat or drink when I think of those two words together. What do those two words make you think of?
Being hungry and thirsty has a certain physical effect on people. Generally, you can expect a hungry and thirsty person to be weary (II Samuel 17:29). This generally causes people to faint, even internally (Psalms 107:5). A hungry person doesn’t even care so much about the taste of what they are going to eat. Something bitter will taste sweet to someone who is hungry enough to esteem it as such (Proverbs 27:7).
Jesus shows us that we cannot live spiritually without His word (Matthew 4:4 and Luke 4:4). When we are away from the spiritual feast that is called the Bible, we should begin to feel hungry. When we are away from the fountains of water called the Bible, we should begin to feel thirsty. Prolonged absence from spiritual substance should cause us to feel weak. This is why the righteous hunger and thirst for things from God. The spiritually hungry seek the Lord (John 6:48). The spiritually thirsty seek the Lord (John 7:37). Ultimately, all that we seek from the Lord is found in and through His word (John 6:63 and II Timothy 3:15-17). This is what we are going to see the Scriptures we are about to examine reveal to us.
Feast On That Which Comes From His Word
In the infancy of the work of our Savior on this earth, He said this: “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). Here we have those words “hunger” and “thirst”. Having already thought about these words, let’s take our thoughts to the next level. We should hunger and thirst after righteousness. The word “seek” is used in how we should approach righteousness (Zephaniah 2:3 and Matthew 6:33). The word of God is referred to as “the word of righteousness” (Hebrews 5:13). The Gospel reveals the righteousness of God (Romans 1:16-17). Righteousness was of the Law of Moses and is now of faith in Christ (Romans 10:5-6), which comes through His word (Romans 10:17). Therefore, hunger and thirst after the words of our Lord. Such hunger and thirst will give us the righteousness we desire (Psalms 119:172).
The Psalmist said this: “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” (Psalms 42:1-2)? Are you thirsting and panting after the knowledge of when you shall appear before God? Where do you think you can look to find that out? The answer is, when Jesus comes (I Thessalonians 4:13-18). We can look to God’s word to find, and be comforted by, the knowledge of when we’ll appear before the Lord. I know, the exact when is not given. No one knows the exact when (Matthew 24:35-36). However, the best answer is found in the Scriptures. Moreover, what to do to be ready is also found in the Scriptures (Matthew 24:35-25:46, II Thessalonians 1:7-9, II Peter 3:10-14, etc.).
Are you tired of desiring things that are not filling or satisfying? The prophet Isaiah recorded this: “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David” (Isaiah 55:1-3). Our Lord is the only source for that which satisfies. Such is well said in this Psalm: “Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness” (Psalms 107:8-9).
There is a lot to think about in the things that we have already studied on this subject. There is a lot more that could be said too. However, before our study concludes there are a couple of important matters to think about when we consider feasting on the word of God to get the things we need. Thus, let’s start those points by considering the preparation before we open His book.
Being Prepared To Feast
The inspired Apostle Peter wrote this: “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (I Peter 2:1-2). The word of God only works on those properly prepared to hear it (Luke 8:1-15). Therefore, if you want to walk away from your Bible studies feeling satisfied, be properly prepared for what you are going to feast upon. Consider the difference in Martha who was unfocused on learning from our Lord from Mary who had chosen to be ready to learn (Luke 10:38-42). The next subject is somewhat about preparation, but it also takes it a step further.
Don’t Be A Spiritual Bulimic
A bulimic is a person who vomits or otherwise disposes of, on purpose, what they eat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulimia_nervosa). To benefit from the spiritual food and drink of the Scriptures you have to keep it (Luke 11:28). That is, when you learn the truth you seek to do it rather than dismiss it (James 1:21-25)!
Physical food comes and goes with only temporary benefits (Hebrews 13:9). The Scriptures are able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance (Acts 20:32). Thus, the righteous hungers for the truth of our Lord to find true satisfaction (Psalms 145:15-20).
Volume 14 – Issue 43 - July 13th, 2014