9.20.14 5:30 am- Family room chair.
Thank you Lord, for another day to dive into your living word! Guide me in my devotion and lead me through responsible hermeneutical interpretation.
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. (NIV)
- God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. (NLT)
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (ESV)
To be hungry and thirsty, it’s more than a feeling of wanting to taste something. When I am hungry and thirsty I long for and actively seek out food and drink. This expresses itself both externally and internally; finding nourishment becomes the central mission of both my body and mind, it is hard to think about anything but food and drink when you are in need of it. This seems to me to indicate that when it comes to justice and righteousness, I should be just as actively longing for and seeking it out.
- Wretched are those who carelessly justify themselves, for their efforts will be in vain.
So, what is this righteousness? My commentary suggests it may be a personal righteousness, aligning my will with God’s, without “tripping up”, without sinning, without disappointing God, total discipleship, pure obedience. This is very true of me. Lord how I wish I could be free of sin! But this Beatitude tells me that when I seek His will, that hunger and thirst will be filled!
I think also righteousness can be desired for others. If I truly love my neighbor in exactly the same way that I love myself, I should be just as actively seeking to abate their hunger and thirst as I do my own. When they are longing and in need, it should be the central mission of my body and mind to meet their needs. And in this act I circle back around to aligning my will with God’s.
Again my commentary suggests that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness experience it in at least three forms that I think are quite accurate.
- The desire to be righteous: To be right with God, to be forgiven and accepted by Him.
- The desire to do what is right: To be obedient, to imitate and reflect God’s righteousness.
- The desire to see right done: To help bring out God’s will in this world.
I sometimes feel that my heart doesn’t break for the things that break God’s heart. I can be self-centered, and if I am honest with myself I don’t entirely hate all sin. I don’t want to be like this, I struggle constantly in trying to understand my motives for just about everything I do. Which I think is an important process, but at times it can be crippling and leave me with the feeling that an opportunity has been missed.
Lord, thank you for this time I have had in your word this morning, and as I reflect on it the rest of the day. Help me to be righteous, to do what is righteous, and to see righteousness done. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!