Are You Soaked In God?
Be-Attitudes (Part 4)
By: Rev. Joe Kramer
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
-Matthew 5:6 (NKJV)
My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times.
-Psalm 119:20 (NIV)
Please notice that in this beatitude we find two things that are at the very base of humanity; that is hunger and thirst. In the United States even the poorest amongst us don’t understand what hunger and thirst is in its’ extreme; we, for most of us, have never experienced it. During this time there was no safety net, no food stamp programs. People literally starved to death and some had no way of getting nourishment.
Jesus uses these very basic needs to describe how a person should be seeking God. He says that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled. But what is righteousness in this context? In our society we see righteousness as a kind of abstract thought or way of thinking. In the Bible it is different. It is a way of acting and righteousness is shown by actions. Eerdmans Bible Dictionary has a great example of God’s righteousness, it reads as follows.
- God is, above all others, the righteous one (Isa. 24:16), the one who preserves the covenant relationship by delivering his people with righteous deeds (Judg. 5:11; RSV “triumphs” l Sam. 12:7; RSV “saving deeds” Mic. 6:5; RSV “saving acts”). God also upholds the cause of the oppressed (cf. Ps. 9:7–12 MT 8–13]; 103:6; Prov. 22:22–23), gives justice to the innocent (1 Kgs. 8:32; cf. Isa. 50:8–9), and hears the suit of those in need (Ps. 7:9–11 MT 10–12]; 35:23-24; Jer. 11:20; 12:1).
If God is to be our example of righteousness and we look at the other “Be-Attitudes” that we have covered so far, what we find is that righteousness (our actions to others) is a natural outpouring of one who is truly seeking God. Our righteousness needs to exceed those of the average “religious” person. Our righteousness (check out the book of James) needs to be shown in our works toward others and the works we do for God. Now keep in mind that we are talking about righteousness not self-righteousness and righteousness is a natural outpouring of a heart that is surrendered and crying out to God.
Imagine this if you will. You have a person who is crying out and praying so hard that their sweat and tears are mixed together, they are literally laboring to God! This is the imagery that is going on in the beatitudes up to this point. This is what it means to hunger and thirst for righteousness. When we come to God keenly aware of our poverty in spirit, with true mourning, and with true meekness we will hunger for God’s righteousness in our lives and other people’s lives; we will want to convey God’s righteousness in our interactions with others.
So now we come to the promise. God says you will be filled. Now this is not the kind of full you feel after a good meal, no this scripture holds the connotation of just being saturated with God’s righteousness, His Love, and His grace. His righteousness, promises, grace, and Love (to name a few) will saturate every minute thing that makes up the person that is you; He will make you thoroughly soaked in His righteousness. You will receive His righteousness and be a receptacle for others. You will live it out before a decaying world, bringing others to Him. Who wouldn’t want that?
The question I have for you is this. Will you come to God coupled with these three
“be-attitudes?” or will you just gloss over God’s power to change a life that truly seeks Him and His righteousness in their life? You know what the definition of insanity is? Doing the same thing and expecting new results. Will you continue to live in insanity? Or will you say to God, “I don’t know how to get there, but I want to be there; God will you help?” The Choice is yours.
- Myers, A. C. (1987). The Eerdmans Bible dictionary (888). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.