Posted On June 15, 2017

Worship, Hunger, and Thirst

by | Jun 15, 2017 | Featured, The Gospel and the Christian Life

Most of us have never experienced true hunger or true thirst.  Not at the life-threatening level.  We frequently complain of hunger when it has been a while since our last meal. We are quick to say we are thirsty when we exert ourselves physically or if we’re exposed to heat for too long.  Although these feelings are very real to us in these times, we’re not in danger of imminent death.

Most healthy humans can survive up to eight weeks with no food as long as they have water.  Some have survived longer than eight weeks without food while others have starved to death in a shorter amount of time. The time frame for survival with no water is much shorter. The point is, to be truly hungry and thirsty is completely different than a growling stomach around lunch time.  To be hungry and thirsty is a life or death matter.

The Lord Jesus said in Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Righteousness, here from the Greek dikaiosune, is the character or quality of being right or just. This righteousness is the gracious gift of God to those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation and are thereby brought into right relationship with God. This right standing with God is what Christ is saying we must hunger and thirst for and in so doing we will be satisfied.

Jesus paints a powerful picture here if we’re careful to take the time to look at it closely. When a person is really hungry, finding food is all that matters to him. Everything else becomes secondary, and the quest for food becomes his only priority. A person on the verge of starvation is desperate. He will eat food off the floor. He will dig through the garbage can in search of anything to eat. A hungry person is not picky. He does not complain about what is offered.  A hungry person is humble. The hungry person simply needs food and will do whatever it takes to get it. Likewise, a person who is truly thirsty will quit everything in search of one drop of water to moisten his parched lips. He will crawl to any source of life refreshing water. This is the picture of the one who hungers and thirsts for the righteousness that only Christ can give. He is desperate for God.

The book of Psalms provides vivid images of this idea,“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God” (42:1). “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1). “For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things” (Psalm 107:9).

Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:6 that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed and satisfied. What does He mean by satisfied? Why would we continue to hunger and thirst after He has saved us? Doesn’t that seem antithetical to being satisfied? Matthew Henry writes, “Hunger and thirst are appetites that return frequently and call for fresh satisfactions…The quickened soul calls for constant meals of righteousness, grace to do the work of every day in its day, as duly as the living body calls for food. Those who hunger and thirst will labour for supplies; so we must not only desire spiritual blessings but take pains for them in the use of the appointed means.” The idea here is that the satisfaction we receive in Christ is so great that it causes us to want more and more of Him. It doesn’t mean that we are dissatisfied but that we are so satisfied we want even more.

This all satisfying righteousness in Christ produces white-hot worship in the believer. When a hungry person on the edge of death finds food, he cannot adequately express his gratitude for it.  When a thirsty person finds cool, refreshing water, he is overwhelmed with thankfulness and joy.  This is the response of those who hunger and thirst for the righteousness of God and receive it in Christ and are satisfied by it. They pour out their hearts and lives in worship to the Source.  Theirs is not a superficial worship. It is the worship of a hungry and thirsty soul that has been filled with the life-giving, sustaining, all-satisfying grace of God in Christ.

Related Posts

Some Keys to Finding a Good Word-Centered, Christ-Honoring Church

Some Keys to Finding a Good Word-Centered, Christ-Honoring Church

On today’s Equipping You in Grace show, Dave considers some marks of a healthy local church, what to look for and avoid in a local church, and why local churches should be firmly grounded in and shaped by the Word of God. What you'll hear in this episode What a...

When Does God (Not Man) Consider a Couple Married?

When Does God (Not Man) Consider a Couple Married?

Suppose a young man came to you for biblical counseling concerning the ongoing tension and conflict with his ‘partner.’ Oh, by the way, he and his girlfriend are living together, though there has never been a wedding. He says to you, “Well, we’ve already committed to...

The Forbidden Fruit

The Forbidden Fruit

Genesis 3:1-5, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You[a] shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit...

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace

On today’s Warriors of Grace show, Dave continues the Titus series looking at Titus 3:4-7 and the reasons, resources, and results of grace. What you’ll hear in this episode The Reasons of Grace The Resources of Grace The Results of Grace How Sweet the Sound!...

Principles of Personal Bible Study

Principles of Personal Bible Study

Host Kimberly Cummings interviews special guest Betty Price about reading plans, memorization, meditation, and other principles of personal Bible study like observation and application.

What About Evil by Scott Christensen

What About Evil by Scott Christensen

The Church is blessed with a brand-new resource on the problem of evil. This subject has been heavily debated for two-thousand years. It is a subject that many evangelists fear. A seeming lack of an answer is often used as an intellectual argument against the...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share18
Tweet1
Email
Reddit
Share