Kingdom Truth - What is the Kingdom of Heaven in the Bible?
Chapter 8, Part 4
Blessed are Those Who Hunger
and Thirst for Righteousness
The word "righteousness" in the Scriptures has two meanings. In the Old Testament and the four gospels, it means "walking blamelessly" (Luke 1:6). In Paul's epistles, it means "declared without sin". Walking blamelessly applies to those who are already saved. We should thirst for God's will and walk blamelessly as a person who is hungry and thirsty for food and drink. The Lord will grant satisfaction to people who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness in His Kingdom.
Dear readers, the reason we study the Scriptures is not only for the sake of knowledge but to understand God's will, to know what is right and wrong and how to obey and do God's will. In the Kingdom, God acknowledges only those believers who obey and do His will. So, we need to hunger and thirst for righteousness, and to learn to pursue after it because there is a crown of righteousness reserved for us! To learn and pursue after righteousness requires a hungry and thirsty heart to hear righteous teachings! But "time will come that people will not endure sound doctrine...and they will turn away their ears from the truth." Therefore, many preaching services are a waste of time and money! Not only are the listeners not built up, their ears get heavier and their eyes duller! Consequently, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness must "take care" in their hearing. How does one take care of that? The answer is in Mark 4. Mark 4 is a discourse on the problem of "hearing". Normally, we emphasize whether the preacher preaches a good sermon or not. But this chapter talks about whether the hearer hears well or not! The theme of the chapter is in verse 24. Jesus said, " Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it shall be measured to you..." This verse tells us that the amount of blessing God gives us is according to our measure we bring to Him. I recall a sister in Shanghai, China who loves the Lord. Before every worship service, she prays and asks God to allow His word to enter into her heart. Later on she gave a testimony saying that she was enlightened every time! I was deeply touched. No wonder this sister is like a 'dove', once you meet her, you are edified. Every time she comes to the Lord, she comes with a hungry and thirsty heart. God is faithful and certainly will not disappoint her. So, what measure you bring to the Lord, the Lord will give you according to that measure. This is a spiritual principle. If you bring with you a criticizing measure, you will go home with grief. If you bring with you a "couldn't care less" measure, you will go home empty handed. If you bring with you a measure to comfort your conscience, all you will only get is some comfort. In the same manner, if you bring a humble and teachable measure, you will return and enjoy God's fullness! No wonder the Psalm says, "Open your mouth wide and I will fill it." (Pss. 81:10)
...for They shall be Satisfied
Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness can never be satisfied by the conditions of this world. Not only are the evil doers and deceivers in this world getting more vicious every day, the church is also straying further and further away from the Scriptures every day. The heart of a righteous person living in their midst aches daily as he sees and hears these lawless acts. How can he be satisfied? Thank God, He has promised: "But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells." (2 Pete. 3:13) The Lord has promised that there shall be new heavens and a new earth and righteousness will dwell in there. The new heavens and earth shall be full of those who "walk blamelessly"! Everything shall be measured by God's standard and all things shall follow God's will. There will be no lawlessness, immorality, unrighteousness as we see today. The righteousness man shall live in it and enjoy fully all that he has desired earnestly. In other words, only those who hunger and thirst for righteousness today shall one day be satisfied in the Kingdom!