Matthew 5.6 cont.
O the cheerfulness of those who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, because they will be fully satisfied.
The word hunger in Hebrew is: ra-eb.
In Greek it is paina
1) Defining hunger
Although we all have some understanding of the meaning of hunger it is good for us to see what the dictionary definition is.
- a compelling need or desire for food.
- the painful sensationor state of weakness caused by the need of food: to collapse from hunger.
- a shortage of food; famine.
- a strong or compelling desire or craving: hunger for power.
verb (used without object)
- to feel hunger; be hungry.
- to have a strong desire.
In Hebrew it means: famished or hungry.
In Greek it means: to be hungry,
- to suffer want,
- to be needy,
- to crave ardently,
- to seek with eager desire.
A few years ago there were 870 million people in the world who suffered from hunger, which is 1 in 8 of the world’s population.
Apparently 16 million of these live in the developed world, they are on our doorstep.
This is why it is so important for us to support and encourage food banks.
However, when Jesus spoke these words He was not talking about physical hunger, but about the hunger for God. He was talking about the hunger for righteousness.
It is this that we must look at.
It is possible that there may have been a real hunger for God in the days of Jesus. The evidence for this is the amount of people who flocked to hear John the Baptist, many of whom chose to be baptized.
The voice of prophecy had been silent for many centuries, probably about four. Before John the Baptist appeared it is possible that the days may have been like the days in the time of Samuel, when he was a young boy.
This is what we read from 1 Samuel 3.1: Meanwhile, the boy Samuel was serving the LORD by assisting Eli. Now in those days messages from the LORD were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon (NLT).
This followed the days of the Judges, where the last words are: In those days Israel had no king, so the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes – Judges 21.25 (NLT).
We may consider that the days in which we are living are very similar.
To be cont.