Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness
Here's a BIBLE STUDY ON HUNGER that I just finished....
So many of us, when reflecting on personal experience with people of other, poor countries, remark that they have so little, yet are so grateful. We are awed by their spiritual strength and reliance on God. Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised.
Jesus, while captivating His audience on the mountain, said
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6
We may scratch our heads and wonder at that, or spiritualize it, the way many do, or we can take it at face value. How should we read it? Is it those who actually physically hunger, or those who hunger for righteousness or both that will be filled.
I would contend that it is both.
I want to read a few scriptures about how God allowed physical hunger in His people, to lead them to righteousness.
Here's what the people thought when they felt hunger.
#1 Exodus 16:3
And the children of Israel said to them, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
The people were wrong, God wasn’t going to kill them with hunger,
What did he want them to learn from their hunger?
So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.
How did God provide for their hunger?
You gave them bread from heaven for their hunger, And brought them water out of the rock for their thirst, And told them to go in to possess the land Which You had sworn to give them.
Is hunger always a teaching opportunity from God?
Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, And an idle person will suffer hunger.
No, sometimes it is because of a choice.
What does the Bible say to do in that case?
For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.
What is God’s goal for his people?
#6 Isaiah 49:10
They shall neither hunger nor thirst, Neither heat nor sun shall strike them; For He who has mercy on them will lead them, Even by the springs of water He will guide them.
So will the righteous people never suffer hunger, only the lazy?
“My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have cast into the dungeon, and he is likely to die from hunger in the place where he is. For there is no more bread in the city.”
Was Jeremiah lazy? Of course not. Yet, God allowed him to hunger in the line of duty.
How about Paul? He could never be called lazy.
To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless.
in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—
Perhaps hunger is part of a faithful journey for some.
Are there innocent people that suffer hunger?
“Arise, cry out in the night, At the beginning of the watches; Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift your hands toward Him For the life of your young children, Who faint from hunger at the head of every street.”
How bad is it to go really hungry?
#11 Lamentations 4:9
Those slain by the sword are better off Than those who die of hunger; For these pine away, Stricken for lack of the fruits of the field.
What’s God’s solution for hunger?
# 12 Ezekiel 34:29
I will raise up for them a garden of renown, and they shall no longer be consumed with hunger in the land, nor bear the shame of the Gentiles anymore.
He will raise up a "garden of renown." He uses agriculture to feed his people. Not a novel idea, it was His first plan.
What does God say to those who are hungry?
# 13 Matthew 5:6
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
#14 Luke 6:21
Blessed are you who hunger now, For you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, For you shall laugh.
How about what he has to say to those who have never experienced hunger and don’t care about others who do?
#15 Luke 6:25
Woe to you who are full, For you shall hunger. Woe to you who laugh now, For you shall mourn and weep.
Can hunger drive people to deeper relationship with God?
#16 Luke 15:17
“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
HUnger is the very thing that brought the son back to his Father.
What is the ultimate solution to all hunger?
#17 John 6:35
And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
#18 Revelation 7:16
They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat;
As I was preparing this Bible study about hunger, inspired by,
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled." "Matthew 5:6
I started reading quotes from other authors from Christianity Today.
Then found this one, I love:
"The soul that turns to God for its strength, its support, its power, by daily, earnest prayer, will have noble aspirations, clear perceptions of truth and duty, lofty purposes of action, and a continual hungering and thirsting after righteousness." From Ellen G. White, God's Amazing Grace - Page 316
I love Sabbath!