Blessed Are They Which Do Hunger and Thirst After Righteousness
1. Text Matthew 5:6
2. Have you ever been really looking forward to a special meal and gone away disappointed?
3. We can look to God and not fear being disappointed.
4. The context.
a. In verse three we see a person who realizes that they are unable to save
themselves, that they are wretched and sinful. But this quality alone, without the
other beatitudes will not lead one to Christ.
b. But when we add the second beatitude we can see that the spiritual man will not
only realize his spiritual poverty, but will also mourn over that sinful condition
and desire to have God’s healing of his sin sickness.
c. The meek will gladly be willing to submit their lives to the will of God.
d. This will naturally create this hunger to do the will of the Lord.
I. The attitude (hunger and thirst)
A. The background.
1. In our world we hardly think about what we are going to drink or eat but
this was not so in the ANE.
a) A working man in Palestine ate meat only once per week.
b) During a famine it got even worse (II Kings 6:25).
2. When one is really hungry he will trade anything for food.
a) When Esau was hungry he trades his birthright for food (Gen.
b) The Israelites were willing to go back into slavery for food (Num.
11:4-5). “And the mixed multitude that was among them fell a
lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who
shall give us flesh to eat? 5We remember the fish, which we did
eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks,
and the onions, and the garlick”
c) In June 1995 Scott O’Grady was shot down over Bosnia.
d) That kind of desire is hunger.
B. The blunder.
1. The wrong source (Jer. 2:13-14)
2. The wrong standard (Luke 18:9-14).
a) The Jews compared themselves to others.
b) The filling of the penitent and emptying of the self-righteous was
predicted by Mary “He hath filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich he hath sent empty away” (Luke 1:53).
c) Many people wrap themselves up in the flimsy garments of their
own righteousness and then complain of the cold.
II. The aim (after righteousness).
A. Definition of righteousness.
1. It is obvious that you cannot seek something unless you know what it is.
2. The word is dikaiosune from dikaios meaning righteousness.
a) Vines says it means “whatever has been appointed by God to be
acknowledged and obeyed by man.”
b) It is translated just” in Matt. 1:19.
c) It means obeying God “And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer
it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness”
3. The reason this is the meaning is found in the words of David “My tongue
shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness”
4. You say well I have friends who obey God in many areas, love their
families etc. but the are not Christians is this talking about them?
a) Righteousness is also declared by God to be in a certain place.
(1) It is communicated in the gospel (Rom. 1:17).
(2) It is confined to the children of Abraham
(3) How does one become a child of Abraham? (Gal. 3:24ff).
B. Desire for the word.
1. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow
thereby” (I Peter 2:2).
2. If a baby does not want to eat something is wrong. Niece Juliana born
3. Out in Texas they pull up the mesquite bushes when there is a drought
because it drinks so much water. Do you know what happens when it
cannot get water, it dies. We can die spiritually when he are cut off from
the source (cf. John 15:1ff).
4. That is why Jesus said (Matt. 4:4).
5. “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
C. Delusions of others. (“Change the hunger and you change the man” Wiersbe).
1. Some seek fame.
a) Illustration Elvis.
b) Ecc. 1:11.
c) Go to a nursing home and see former bank presidents who have
already been forgotten.
2. Some seek fortune.
a) Look at the rich your ruler (Luke 16:1ff).
b) “He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that
loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity” (Ecc. 5:10).
3. Some seek fun.
a) “I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth,
therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity” (Ecc. 2:1).
b) Thy word is truth (John 17:17).
c) Yet in spite of an abundance of Bibles we have a famine of God’s
word (Amos 8:11-14).
4. Some seek feelings.
a) “I wouldn’t trade the feeling in my heart for a stack of Bibles.”
b) “I know I am saved because I feel it.”
(1) Have you ever been saved before?
(2) Then how do you know how it feels?
c) “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in
man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23).
5. Some seek friendship (popularity) of the world.
a) James 4:4.
b) Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity (Heb. 1:9).
c) Ecc. 4:15-16.
6. Some seek false religion to have all of the above.
a) Some call it the community church I call it the Burger King
religion; Have it your way.
D. Demonstration that I am seeking righteousness.
1. My concern
a) Concern for the kingdom (Matt. 6:33).
b) Concern for my family.
(1) I Tim. 5:8.
(2) Someone said Noah was a failure but if everyone had been
like Noah there would have been no flood.
c) Concern for the souls of others (Luke 19:10).
d) Concern for my own soul (I Cor. 10:12).
(1) David knew this feeling “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” (Psalm
2. My contentment
a) Paul knew how to be content even when he was physically hungry
b) If God supples my basic needs I should be content. “And having
food and raiment let us be therewith content” (I Tim. 6:18).
c) And God has promised us this much (Matt. 6:25ff).
d) If I am not content and it is not God’s fault then I must be seeking
the wrong things.
e) I can be content if I seek righteousness because Jesus said God will
give it to us.
III. The aftermath (they shall be filled).
A. The previous concern.
1. This person was destitute of food.
a) When the prodical got hungry he was ready to eat the pig’s food,
when he was starving he went home.
b) This speaks of an intense desire.
(1) Nothing worthwhile has ever been achieved without desire.
(2) Aristotle dips boys head into water to show him truth.
2. We have more need to want what we get than to get what we want.
B. The present condition.
1. The word for “filled” is chortazo.
a) It was used of feeding an animal until they could eat no more.
b) David had told God that his cup was running over (Psalm 23:5).
2. Jesus can do what he promised.
a) Look at what He promised us
(1) To fill our thirst (John 4:13-14).
(2) With Jesus we can drink as deep as we desire.
(3) To fill our hunger “And Jesus said unto them, I am the
bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and
he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 36But I said unto
you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not” (John
b) No matter what else in life I hunger for, I will not be permanently
filled but if I hunger for righteousness, God can fill me. If we will
seek, He will satisfy.
c) He feed 5000 with bread (Matt. 14:20).
d) Surely He can feed us with righteousness.