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Blessed Are Series, Part 4: They Who Hunger & Thirst
November 05, 2006
This sermon was presented before the Load, Kentucky, church of Christ, on November 05, 2006. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are those who love the Lord, and diligently seek Him. Bernie Parsons
Blessed Are They Who Hunger & Thirst
By Bernie Parsons
Presented to the Load, KY, church of Christ on 11-05-2006
Matthew 5:1: “And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
2: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3: Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4: Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5: Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6: Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7: Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8: Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9: Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10: Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
In the previous studies, we looked at the blessed poor in spirit, the blessed mournful, and the blessed meek. We continue our series of studies with the fourth of these blessings, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”
As I pointed out from the outset, these are spiritual blessings, although some preachers and religious writers say otherwise. They are based upon Old Testament teachings, with which the Jews were familiar, and so we must take them in that context.
David, the great man of God and King of Israel, shows us what it means to thirst for righteousness.
Psalms 42:2: “My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?”
Psalms 63:1: “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;”
Psalms 143:6: “I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah.”
The Old Testament prophets also clue us in to the meaning behind the words of Jesus. When there is a shortage of the teaching of righteousness—that is, of God’s word—the Lord has declared it a spiritual hunger and thirst.
Isaiah 29:8: “It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion.
9: Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink.
10: For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.
11: And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed:
12: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.
13: Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
14: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.
15: Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?
16: Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?
17: Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest?
18: And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.
19: The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
20: For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off:
21: That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought.
22: Therefore thus saith the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale.
23: But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.
24: They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.”
Isaiah 55:1: “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
2: Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
3: Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
4: Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.
5: Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.
6: Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
7: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”
Isaiah 65:8: “Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants' sakes, that I may not destroy them all.
9: And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.
10: And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me.
11: But ye are they that forsake the LORD, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number.
12: Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not.
13: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed:
14: Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.
15: And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name:
16: That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.
17: For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
18: But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.”
The hungry shall be fed, and the thirsty shall drink. That is, those who seek the Lord, and will listen to His word, will receive the word of the Lord, and be satisfied.
Isaiah 49:6: “And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
7: Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.
8: Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;
9: That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.
10: They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.”
They who hunger and thirst for righteousness shall be filled. Jesus spoke of this during His ministry.
John 4:10: “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
11: The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
12: Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
13: Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
14: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
15: The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.”
John 6:32: “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
33: For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
34: Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.
35: 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.”
John 7:37: “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
38: He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”
Revelation 21:6: “And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.”
Revelation 22:17: “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
As with the other blessings that we have studied, this is one is also spiritual. The promise is to those who love the Lord, and seek Him in their lives. They want Him in their hearts and minds, and His Spirit within them. Those who desire this will receive it. Those who do not incline their hearts and ears to the Lord will continue in their lost condition.
Matthew 13:14: “And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
15: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
16: But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
17: For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.”
Once we have listened to the voice of God, we must take care not to lose sight of those things that we have learned of Him.
Hebrews 2:1: “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
2: For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;
3: How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
4: God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?”