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Weekly Bible Study
“Happy are the Holy Matthew 5:6”
by Art Sadlier   
March 28th, 2017

Happy are the Holy

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”

In Matthew 5:1-10 our Lord gives eight beatitudes. These are eight things that have the capacity to make men and women extremely happy. In saying, "Blessed are you," our Lord is saying happy are you. In these verses our Lord is offering happiness.

The following is a quote from People Magazine, 1978.

“I sit in my house in Buffalo and sometimes I get so lonely it’s unbelievable. Life has been so good to me. I’ve got a great wife, and good kids, money, health but I’m lonely and bored.....I often wondered why so many rich people commit suicide. Money sure isn’t a cure all,” O.J. Simpson. 

Augustine understood O.J. Simpson, when he said, “Thou hast made us for thyself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.”

Man is on a search for happiness. There is emptiness in the hearts of men. There is a hunger in the hearts of men. This is a hunger and an emptiness that this world and the things of this world can never satisfy.  Man is on a quest for satisfaction, a quest, a thirst, a hunger that only God can satisfy.

There is a hunger of the soul, a longing within the heart of man - a longing that he seeks to satisfy all of his life. Man seeks to satisfy that desire in a thousand ways, but it can only be satisfied by God!

In these beatitudes Jesus is talking about the only way to satisfy this hunger of the soul. In verse six we see the fourth aspect of that satisfaction. “Blessed (happy) are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled (satisfied).”

Question - Why is it that some Christians continue as spiritual babies, and others go on to spiritual maturity?  Is it personality or experience or training? Jesus tells us here in verse six. It is a mysterious thing called hunger or desire.

A man tells the story of how a boy walked 700 miles to see the Niagara Falls. When he was about seven miles away he thought he heard the thunder of the falls. He enquired of a man working on the roof of a house if it were so?

The man replied, “It might be, but he could not say for sure, because he had never been there.”

See the contrast between hunger and apathy. Seven hundred miles was not too far for the boy, but seven miles was too far for the man on the roof.

Let me ask you; is there a deep-seated hunger in your heart for God? Does that longing include a desire for righteousness that you may know and please God? If you profess to be a Christian and these things are not characteristic of your life, something is wrong. You are either backslidden or you are counterfeit.

2 Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”

We have some examples of men who hungered after God.

1 – Moses – “Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, show me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people,” (Exodus 33:13). Moses said this after he had many experiences with God. He heard His voice at the burning bush. Moses spoke to Pharaoh on God’s behalf. Moses saw the miracles of the plagues. Moses saw the Red Sea open and close. Moses saw the bitter waters of Marah made sweet. Moses saw the water come forth out of the rock. Moses saw the Manna come down from heaven. Moses went up into the mountain and talked with God and God gave him the pattern for the Tabernacle.

If any man knew God it was Moses, how could he say he wanted to know Him? Moses said in verse 18, “ I beseech thee show me thy glory,” Moses was really saying, to know God is to desire to know Him better. Moses had an insatiable hunger for God.

2 – David – If any man knew God it was David. David walked with and talked with God. Yet David was never satisfied, he wanted to know God better. “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?”

Do you know anything of that desire?

3 – Paul – In Philippians 3:10 he said, “That I may know Him.” How could Paul say that? He had walked with the Lord for years. He is now nearing the end of his life. He had spent a lifetime preaching and praying and suffering and following Christ. Paul had experienced an intimate relationship with the Lord.

Yet Paul is saying in effect, I have an insatiable hunger and thirst to know Him better, he had an ever growing desire to serve Him and please Him more.

I could name you scores of believers who have sold all they had and gone to foreign lands to serve Christ, often in deprivation and suffering and sometimes at the cost of their lives.

Example – Eugene and Elizabeth Cira.  Eugene is Spanish, Elizabeth is Canadian. They owned a home in Canada. They owned a car. They had a good income. They could have enjoyed all of the comforts and material benefits Canada has to offer. But they decided to go to Columbia as missionaries. At that time Columbia had the highest crime rate in the world. It was dangerous to walk the streets. The filth and disease were appalling and dangerous.

Why did they do it? Elizabeth said, “The material things of this country can never satisfy my heart....only serving the Lord can satisfy my heart.”

As a young man I watched as my brother Stan and His wife, Barb, packed up their belongings and took their little baby girl to West Irian. They moved in to live among a tribe that had never seen a white man. Why? They had that same hunger to please God.

Unsaved people thirst for happiness and hunger for fulfilment. If they seek it in the wrong place they will not find it. The heart of every man was created with a hunger for God, but man is in rebellion against God. The natural man tries to satisfy the hunger for God with all the wrong things.

Jeremiah 2:13, “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Possessions, pleasure, power, and praise of men, these things cannot satisfy the longing God has placed in the human heart.

How can I know if I am really thirsting and hungering for God?


1 – Are you satisfied with yourself?  Or are do you feel the pain of failure? Do you feel the pain of falling short? Does your sin break your heart?

2 – Do external things satisfy you?  Or are there longings and desires in your heart that things cannot  satisfy?

In Psalm 17:14, David talks about the men of this world. “From men which are thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes.” All they want are the things of this life. Does that describe you? Do the things of this life satisfy you?

3 – Do you have a great appetite for the Word of God?  Jeremiah said, “Thy words were found and I did eat them.” I suggest that if you do not hunger for the Word of God, you are a backslidden child of the kingdom, or you are not a kingdom child.

4 – Are the things of God sweet to you?  “To the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet,” (Proverbs 27:7). You can recognize the one who is seeking righteousness, because when God brings the bitter things into his life, he is content and satisfied, he accepts what God is doing in his life. Some people can rejoice only when good things happen. When tough things happen they do not like it. They are hungering after the things that will please them instead of desiring to please God and do His will.  They are hungering and thirsting after the wrong things.

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” If God wants to bring some hard and bitter thing into my life to draw me closer to Him, Praise the Lord!

5 – Is your hunger and thirst unconditional? Remember the rich young ruler. He came running to Jesus. He bowed down and worshipped Him. He called Him master. He wanted eternal life. He was willing to do anything Christ asked of him with one exception. God always goes after the idol in a man’s life! The rich young ruler was willing to do anything Christ asked of him, except give up his money. Do you have exceptions and limits to your commitment to the Lord? If you have exceptions and limits on your commitment to Christ, you are not hungering and thirsting after righteousness.

A man who is hungry - a man who is starving - is not interested in a new suit of clothes. He is not interested in a new watch. He is not interested in a vacation. He is single minded, he wants one thing, he wants to eat. Nothing matters until the hunger is satisfied.

Keep thou me ever hungry, Lord, Until I famish for thy Word –

Thy Word, which is my meat my bread, Thy Word which feeds whenever read.

Keep thou me ever thirsty, Lord, stay not thy hand till thou hast poured,

Thy living water in my cup, which I am humbly holding up.

Keep me dissatisfied, dear Lord; Use thy Spirit's shining sword

To pierce my foolish self-esteem, and rouse me from my empty dream.

Keep me awake, that I may hear, Thy bugles calling loud and clear.

Stir thou my sluggish soul to fight, For thee beneath thy banner bright.

Yea, this my prayer, that I may be, hungry and thirsty, Lord for thee,

Dissatisfied with self, awake! And this I ask for Jesus sake.

With each beatitude there is a promise. “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.”

There is a spiritual principle; the greater the spiritual hunger and thirst for God and His righteousness, the greater the consciousness of sin; the deeper the mourning over sin, and the deeper will be the satisfaction, and the deeper will be the thrill and the joy over sins forgiven.

When I was much younger I enjoyed canoe trips into the wilderness and the fishing that went with it. After a day of hard paddling and portaging in the fresh air, your hunger becomes great. The food tastes absolutely delicious and satisfying.

There is no satisfaction in the world like the thrill of sins forgiven, the thrill of knowing that you have been made righteous before God. If there is a greater satisfaction, it is the satisfaction and the thrill of intimate fellowship with the Lord as we yield to His will and seek to please Him.

Watch this closely. The greater the awareness we have of our sin. The greater will be our sorrow over our sin. The greater will be the sense of God’s forgiveness. The greater will be the joy and satisfaction over God’s forgiveness. The greater will be the satisfaction with the righteousness God gives us. The more wonderful our relationship with the Lord will be. The greater will be our desire to live our life pleasing to Him.

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