Sermon On The Mount Devotional Blog 7

Sermon On The Mount Devotional

Filled and Satisfied!

Read Matthew 5:1-12 (focusing on vs. 6) (ESV)

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

Years ago I watched a movie entitled 127 Hours. This movie starred James Franco who played Aron Ralston, “an adventurous mountain climber [who] becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and resorts to desperate measures in order to survive.” (Source IMB). I remember sitting in horrified fascination, watching this true story of an adventurous hiker who at one point has his arm pinned between the canyon wall and a massive rock that had fallen. He finally resorts to cutting off his arm from the elbow down, to escape. What I remember with equal horror was, once he had freed himself, he wandered for many hours, desperately seeking a water source. Standing atop a rocky outcropping he spied a distant pool. Climbing down he lumbered over to it and realized it to be a brackish, stagnant puddle of putrid water. So thirsty was he that he simply fell into the black water, breaking a surface layer of scum and mold, and began to lap voraciously the tainted water.

This was a truly thirsty man! Throwing all normal caution to the wind, he drank deeply from this lone source of liquid sustenance. Have you ever been this thirsty? Perhaps not like this, but have you ever come in from playing a sport or hiking in the mountains, sweating and parched? What about for food? Have you ever gone for a long period of time without eating? Remember when you finally were able to eat or drink? That food or water tasted like nothing you have ever had, all your senses igniting into blissful taste and fulfillment.

Have you ever felt this way about the Lord? Have you ever gone so long without spending time in the Word or worship or fellowship with the Father, feeling spiritually starved? The Lord says to those who have this kind of spiritual hungering and thirst, “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat.” (Psalm 107:5-9)

Dan Doriani in his book The Sermon on the Mount: The Character of a Disciple says that this beatitude “declares the spiritual consequences of the first three beatitudes. If we know our sin and spiritual poverty, if we mourn over it and live meekly because of it, we will hunger and thirst for righteousness. That is, we will seek it, yearn for it, and ask God to help us attain it.”  (pg. 21) Is this the current state of your heart? Do you, with an understanding of your sin, mourn over it, longing to have it removed and replaced, humbly recognizing that only the Lord can do it? If so, then you are in the first stages of hungering and thirsting for righteousness. To hunger and thirst means to long for righteousness as much as we want food and water. The Psalmist further reminds us in chapter 42 and verses 1-2, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you. O God, my soul thirsts for … the living God.” (pg. 22) What a wonderful image of a deer stumbling upon a clear, fresh pool of crisp mountain water and plunging its mouth in, lapping feverishly to satisfy its thirst.

Doriani goes on to make the point that “This hunger longs for God’s Word and its life-changing effects. The blessed man gets hungry when he is separated from the Word of God, when good teaching and preaching are scarce.” (pg. 22) Ever felt this way? I was talking with a college student recently who had gone for a time without good Biblical preaching and teaching, along with little Christian fellowship. She had also been surrounded by the sin of the world and seemed to me to be very thirsty. We took her to an RUF large group gathering, and it was so wonderful to see her worshipping and enjoying fellowship and sitting under solid Biblical teaching. She seemed filled and joyful at the end of the evening. My hope is that she will continue to hunger and thirst after the Lord’s teaching and, as a half-starved person might do anything to find food, so too might she pursue all means to be filled daily and weekly. Will you?

So, What Now? Will your hunger and thirst, perhaps your spiritual poverty, impel you to pursue the Lord? Will it drive you to the Word of God, praying, “Father, fill me with the Bread and Water of life!”? Spend time in God’s Word today seeking His filling.