O the cheerfulness of those who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, because they will be fully satisfied.
Jesus goes on to say that there is a cheerfulness for those who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness.
To understand this kind of hunger it will be helpful for us to look at the various aspects of hunger and thirst.
There are various ways in which we can look at hunger.
- There is the hunger for the want of food.
Excuses might be found for a thief who steals because he is starving – Proverbs 6.30 (NLT).
Perhaps very few of us have experienced real hunger, and the pains that it brings. However, we know that many people in this world never have a full stomach, and that malnutrition is their constant companion.
2 There is the hunger for the want of life’s necessities.
Once again we may not be over familiar with this, but the apostle Paul was. He wrote:
Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little – Philippians 4.11 (NLT).
In the Western World most of us have all that we need, if may not be all that we want.
3 There is the hunger for the things of God – righteousness.
Jesus said to them: “I am the bread of life, whoever comes to Me shall never be hungry, and whoever believes in Me shall never ever be thirsty.”
Hunger is mentioned in the Old Testament 32 times, and in the New Testament 28 times, making a total of 60 times.
All references in the Old Testament are to physical hunger, except Job 18.12:
Calamity is hungry for him; disaster is ready for him when he falls (NIV).
In the New Testament there are only two instances of hunger referring to spiritual hunger.
They occur in what Jesus said in Matthew 5.6 and in John 6.35, (above).