Thoughts on the Beatitudes (8) - Evan Gear

Matthew 5:6 — Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
I mentioned Abraham in the previous devotion. His life is very familiar to us but what we often fail to notice is the fact that his life is largely spent in between the pages of Scripture. The man lived to the ripe old age of 175 years (Gen. 25:7) and we know details of what roughly equates to two weeks’ worth of that long life. Only two weeks out of 9100 weeks in total! That means we read of 0.02% of his life. And the things we read are those places that make up the whole of his faith, the faith that we share in. He lived for and believed in a God that he knew intimately only 0.02% of his life.
Imagine, eating only 29 minutes of everyday. All your eating and drinking must take place in that short span of time. If you were to do so what would be your constant state? Would you not go most of your days feeling profoundly hungry and thirsty? Of course, you would. Now, apply that principle to the spiritual life of Abraham. He ate of heavens table very rarely which means the majority of his life was spent hungering and thirsting for it.
So often we fall into a habit of thinking that the Christian life is one of full-bellied communion. We assume that God deals with us, he blesses us in an American consumeristic fashion — on-demand, 24 hours a day. But that is not the testimony of the Scriptures. Take just few instances from the Psalter:
Ps. 22:15 — My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
Ps. 42:1 — As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul longs after You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, the living God.
Ps. 63:1 — O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my body yearns for You in a dry and weary land without water.
Ps. 84:2 — My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD.
Ps. 119:20, 81 — My soul is consumed with longing… My soul faints for Your salvation; I wait for Your word.

This is but a sample of the oft repeated experience of the saints. One thinks of David on the run from Saul, of Jeremiah down in the well, or Job. All of this finding its full expression at the foot of the cross where we hear our Savior say, I thirst (John 19:28). It should come as no surprise then that we celebrate that death at a table where the meal is anything but filling. A little piece of bread, but a sip of the fruit of the vine. On all fronts we encounter the truth that we await a feast. In every place we are taught to hunger. For this life is the continual appetizer. Ours is the perpetual nibble. Always stirring of the appetite never its full satisfaction. Yet it is as such that we are blessed. For hungering and thirsting we find ourselves part of that great heavenly company who shall sit at table with Christ.
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