The Beatitudes - Part Four
In this weeks blog we are going to be looking at the fourth part in our Beatitudes series. I'm really glad you've decided to join us and read along!
Matthew 5:6 NIV
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
Before we start really digging into this verse, I think the following quote really contextualises the verse and puts it into perspective when considering the previous verses in this passage.
"The desire of the one who has poverty of spirit, mourning for sin, and meekness: righteousness."
So we can see here that the desire for righteousness is born from the first three verses that we have covered, meaning that we are again building on the previous verses and without them we cannot reach a desire for righteousness.
The first word that I want to look into is the word 'hunger', in Greek 'peinaw' (pi-nah'-o) which means to famish or absolutely crave. This isn't the kind of hunger that we might experience, it's a deep craving and can also be read as 'to suffer want' or 'to be needy'. Another thing that we need to acknowledge is the tense in which this word is used. The tense in Greek is the present tense and the 'voice' is 'active' which means that this longing is a physical and spiritual hunger that encompasses all of who we are.
The second part of this verse that I want to focus on is the word 'righteousness' - a word that you very rarely hear outside of the church. The Greek word for righteousness is 'dikaiosunh' (dik-ah-yos-oo'-nay) which can be defined as 'equity of character or act, specially Christian justification', other words associated with the concept of righteousness are; integrity, virtue, purity, rightness and correctness of thinking, feeling and acting. Righteousness can also be seen as 'the state of him/her who is as he ought to be' or 'the condition acceptable to God'.
“He hungers and thirsts after righteousness. He does not hunger and thirst that his own political party may get into power, but he does hunger and thirst that righteousness may be done in the land. He does not hunger and thirst that his own opinions may come to the front, and that his own sect or denomination may increase in numbers and influence, but he does desire that righteousness may come to the fore.”
The final part of this verse says 'for they shall be filled'. God promises that He will fill the hungry, but this filling is not just a filling of someone that is hungry, but a continual process of filling a man or woman longing for righteousness. A process that we will continually go through, longing to be more like Jesus and to draw closer to Him.
I pray that this week we will all hunger for righteousness, that we might strive to be more like Christ in all that we do.