Psalm 78:15-31 – The Israelites struggle to keep faith in God, craving physical bread and water more than the spiritual cuisine of righteousness. As the crowd reflects on the faults, murmurs, and rebellion of their Fathers in the wilderness, Jesus teaches them the recipe for true satisfaction; how to be wholly filled.
He says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matt 5:6)
We have seen that the one who would inherit the earth must, in a spirit of meekness, surrender all “self-rights” for the sake of living unto God and exalting Christ. In a similar fashion, Jesus teaches us that the one who would be satisfied must run after righteousness, but first understand that they cannot establish it on their own. Admitting their bankruptcy, they renounce any and all self-merit, and in this way they align themselves with the great Gospel of grace alone.
The ever-present longing of such an individual is the future righteousness of God – the righteousness provided at the Cross and perfected at death. As they cling to Jesus, the disciple longs for a righteousness that won’t ever weaken, righteousness with no valleys. Fixed on this future state, this drastic renewal, where all sin is forever and always done away with, present, personal, earthly righteousness increases. God supplies it.
“Those who follow Jesus grow hungry and thirsty on the way” (Bonhoeffer, 110)
Learn to say I’m thirsty, and look to God to provide in His time and in His way. As we look at Scripture, we find that the desert is a very special place – a type of sanctuary. God calls it the best place in the world. For, it is there that his creatures look to Him for nourishment. It is in the heart of the oppressive heat, that the believer is wholly reliant upon His Creator. If God doesn’t show up, he dies. This is where God would have you. It is here that you become hungry and thirsty for God’s righteousness. It is here that you can be truly filled, where the body along with the soul finds satisfaction.
“Happy are they who have the promise that they shall be filled, for the righteousness they receive will be no empty promise, but real satisfaction. They will eat the Bread of Life in the Messianic Feast. They are blessed because they already enjoy this bread here and now, for in their hunger they are sustained by the bread of life, the bliss of sinners” (Bonhoeffer, 111).