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21 “Blessed are you who hunger now, For you shall be filled…”
25 “Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry.
Both the Old and New Testaments reveal it is better to be spiritually hungry than to be physically hungry. Hunger is a driving force in our lives. I often say, “I’m hungry.” What I am really communicating is… “I am ready to eat.” Why all this talk about being hungry for God? One of my favorite verses about this issue is found in Psalms.
“As the deer pants for the water brooks: So pants my soul for You, O God (2) My soul thirsts for God, for the Living God….” “ O God, You are my God; Early will I see You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.” Psalm 42:1-2
I like this verse because it is passionate. Here David equates his soul thirsting to his body aching for water, when water is unavailable. Have you ever been this thirsty or hungry? The better question …. have you ever been this thirsty and hungry for God.
Jesus blesses spiritual hunger and a person’s quest to know more of the Lord. “Blessed are you who hunger now for you will be satisfied.”
Here is the crux of the matter… If you are not hungry for God, then you are to create a hunger for God. Hunger is something you can jump-start. You can’t fill yourself with God, but you can generate a hunger for God. God is in the business of satisfying the hungry seeker.
When I was in college there was a snack machine in the lobby of the our dorm. The sign on the front was most titillating. It read, “Don’t go around hungry!” Like who purposely wants to go around hungry. Most college students I know are in a perpetual state of hunger. You can’t feed them enough or ever fill them up. Snacks from a machine are like hor’dourves. They fail to fill an empty belly. Hunger is not merely a word, but a condition. Just like we get hungry at times because we don’t eat… So should there be times when we find ourselves spiritually hungry… which God fills. Spiritual food is unlike physical food. When we eat physical food, our sugar level goes up and eventually our bodies tell us to stop eating. Spiritual food operates differently. The more we eat from God’s table…the more we want to eat from His endless bounty. His food is satisfying, but it also causes our inner man to crave more of God!
This is why Jesus gives His listeners a “woe” in verse twenty-five. If we continue to gormandize ourselves with the food of this world, we will never desire real spiritual nourishment. Jesus warns, “Woe to you who are full, For you shall hunger,” Listen again to the paraphrase of this verse from The Message. “It’s trouble ahead if you’re satisfied with yourself, Your ‘self’ will not satisfy you for long.” Ouch!
Jesus is warning us that just because everything is OK now, both physically and spiritually, the day always arrives when we find ourselves empty. In that day we will need more than the junk food we have been eating… we need God’s filling, God’s supply, and God’s food.