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6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. NIV New International Version
6You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat. MSG The Message Bible
6Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God enjoys His favor and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be completely satisfied! AMP The Amplified Bible
6God blesses those who are hungry and thirsty for justice,for they will receive it in full. NLT New Living Translation
6God blesses those people who want to obey him more than to eat or drink. They will be given what they want! CEV Contemporary English Version
6Happy those hungering and thirsting for righteousness -- because they shall be filled. YLT Young's Literal Translation
6Those who are hungry and thirsty to be right with God are happy, because they will be filled. NLV New Life Version
6How blest are those who hunger and thirst to see right prevail, they shall be satisfied. The New English Bible
6God makes happy those who are hungry and thirsty for what is right and good. They will be filled. WE Worldwide English (New Testament)
Happy are those who are hungry and thirsty for goodness, for they will be fully satisfied!
J. B. Phillips Translation
6 O the bliss of those who hunger and thirst for all that sets them right with God, for they shall be satisfied to the full.Translation by William Barclay
People who hunger and thirst for what is right will finally have their full.
Source not known to me
As a desert wanderer longs for springs of cool water, so my thirsty soul reaches out for You, O God.
Leslie F. Brandt (a paraphrase of Psalm 42:l from Psalms/Now)
What is it that you really want in life? What is it that consumes your energy, your thinking, your time? For most of us, it is family and primary relationships, or jobs. Others might say security needs, ambition and personal goals. Still others would describe it as longings for power, recognition, respect or fulfillment. As you think about these questions, you may realize they are two and not one. That which consumes our energy and time is not necessarily what we really want in life. And therein lies the problem. It's like we are on two different paths that are not going in the same direction and we get stretched and pulled apart.
Jesus has a solution for this dilemma. He says we need one overriding desire, the desire for God. God, the one who made us and knows us inside and out. God, the one who loves us so much that he sacrificed his only son to get us back again. God, the one who holds the key to joy and peace and everything good.
Jesus repeated this theme more than once. After a discourse on worry and providing for the necessities of life, Jesus put it this way: "Seek first his [God's] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Here in the beatitudes he said: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled."
Above all that we do in life, we are to recognize the longing in our hearts for God and God's righteousness. Above all, we are to cultivate that desire and nurture it so that it grows and grows. Above all we are to learn to know God and love God and find our joy in God. Above all we are blessed if that longing is so great that we are like a starving man or a thirsting woman in a desperate search for food and drink.
When we long for God, we also long for all that God is. Jesus used the word "righteousness" as an all-encompassing concept. In the Bible, righteousness is often paired with faith and trust, salvation and safety, or with justice and peace. Righteousness is described as a garment, an advance guard, a tree, a branch, a fruit, a shield, a crown, a scepter, a standard for judgment, a path on which to walk, a deliverer, an object to love, a message to speak, an offering to God, a gift from God, a reign of grace.
The Bible says righteousness is like a great mountain, a mighty river, and light at the dawn of the day. It rains from the skies and grows up from the ground. Righteousness is associated with both God's anger and God's loving kindness. And it is eternal, from everlasting to everlasting. Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness. His faith made him righteous in God's eyes.
Other people have defined righteousness as being right with God, with others and with ourselves. Or doing good things for good reasons; wanting to be truly good; acting with justice and making peace. However you define that word, God will be at the heart of the definition because God is the author of righteousness.
The righteousness which God desires in us has nothing to do with rituals or the appearance of piety. It has everything to do with attitudes of the heart. True goodness is a fruit of a heart changed by God, and has little to do with the outward forms of religious traditions.
Just as light dispels darkness, and just as the warmth of the morning sun replaces the chill of the night, so righteousness cannot dwell with that which is not righteous. When we choose one, the other must go.
When we long for God and God's righteousness as much as the desert wanderer longs for food and drink, everything else in our lives will fall into place. We become whole instead of fragmented. We are no longer pulled in many directions. And as Jesus said in this beatitude, we will no longer be running on empty; rather we shall be filled.
What a glorious word "filled" is. Filled as in a full tank of gas, eating a full meal, a bill that's paid in full, a full crew to work with. God's idea of a full cup is over the brim, running over and splashing down the sides. God is always generous beyond measure. So when Jesus says you will be filled--let's just say that God's buffet never ends and you can come back later in the day for dessert or come tomorrow anytime for more.
When you are hungry and thirsty, pictures of food and drink will not satisfy. Discussions about food will not alleviate the pain of an empty stomach. The color and shape of the tablecloth no longer matters. Suddenly you know what is important!
The blessing which Jesus declares is for those who hunger and thirst. Within the process, we are blessed. The blessing does not wait until the goal is achieved or the mission accomplished. The desire for righteousness makes you blessed. The one who longs for it with all their heart and soul will be filled to overflowing.
Righteousness is sometimes defined as, a right standing with God. What is that image, what does "a right standing with God" look like?
RIGHT The word right implies correct, possibly corrected. Right for you and in God's eyes. The most-used portals to God are prayer, praise or confession.
STANDING After the longing, after the hunger and the thirst-- maybe it was a desperate search, perhaps a daily chasing after God. You rise, or were you lifted up, to stand with God. You stand right there with God.
WITH With is with, not before, behind, or at a distance. It's a "right standing" so there's no atmosphere of condemnation, fear, shame or guilt. You stand with God your creator and know you are welcomed, accepted and loved.
GOD As you stand in God's presence your slate is wiped clean, your thoughts are purified, your life is made new in Jesus' name. Re-created once more in God's image and likeness.
Now the cynic will say, "Yeah, how long will that last?" And it's all up to you. The hunger and the thirst is not meant to be a once in a lifetime occurrence. We don't eat and drink once a year or one time every decade. We eat and drink every day, many times throughout each day. Blessed are you who hunger and thirst for righteousness, as often as you hunger and thirst for food and drink! Happy are you who long to stand with God every day. Next time you eat a meal or sip some water, let those very ordinary and daily needs remind you of this beatitude. With one quick thought you can have a "right standing with God" experience.
There's a chorus based on Psalms 42:1 that goes something like this: As the deer pants for the water so my soul longs after You, O God; You alone are my heart's desire, and I long to worship You. You alone are my strength, my shield, to You alone may my spirit yield; You alone are my heart's desire, and I long to worship You.
As desert wanderers, we come.