THE BEATITUDES: THE MEEK AND HUNGRY

Mt. 5:5    Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Meekness is a fruit of the Spirit of God in the believer, which follows as we have humbled ourselves to admit we are helpless in our own selves, and are sorrowful over our own sinfulness in the light of God’s holiness.  Rather than driving us into the desert or a monastery to supposedly escape the sin and evil in the world, the blessedness of the meek is that they will inherit the earth (Ps. 37: 9-11,22,29, 34).  This is a promise of future hope, which has a present application:  the earth belongs to the LORD and to the sons of Adam who have put their faith and trust in God through Jesus Christ.  We can enjoy the earth now because Jesus has redeemed it for God.  We take care of it –rather than destroy it– because we love it for His sake.  The creation itself looks forward to its Jubilee freedom and Sabbath rest when the Lord Jesus returns to bring God’s Kingdom to the world.

Meekness is not passivity, nor is it angerlessness.  It includes patience and long-suffering — waiting on God to fulfill His purposes in His way and time — but it also includes anger for the right reasons at the right time and not at the wrong time.  We see this, of course, in the life of the Lord Jesus.

The meek believer actively resists sin and unrighteousness — engages in spiritual warfare — always mindful and thankful that we are forgiven sinners ourselves.  He fears the LORD, and is completely submitted to God’s will for Yeshua’s sake, rejoicing in it despite the temptations, sins, and difficulties of life.  How and why?  Because of the joy of having a share in the blessedness of God’s inheritance!  Meekness is the opposite of pride; the Spirit of God dwelling in the believer is One of humility, and wars against the pride of our flesh.  The meek know what they were without the Spirit of Holiness dwelling in them; the proud declare their own righteousness and feel no further need to be transformed  and conformed to the image of the Son of God, who sacrificed His own will to the will of His Father in Heaven.  Although He was equal with God, He made Himself of no reputation and took on the form of a mortal man, becoming a servant of servants.  He stood up not for His own glory, but for the glory of God, His holy and righteous Father, and for the dignity of man created in the image of God.  Jesus was a Man of peace, who was friends with sinners to show forth the love of the Father, and with much patience brought grace and truth together with meekness and lowliness of heart.  The earth belongs to Him!

Mt. 5:6   Blessed are they which hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
Lk. 6:21a    Blessed are ye that hunger, for ye shall be filled.

Every living thing needs its food and drink suited to it in order to survive at least, and to live healthy lives at best.  We are motivated to do what is necessary — working honestly, stealing, even killing — to give us the food and water we require and even enjoy.  How pleasant to eat good food with friends and family!  We even look forward to the next meal!  This is natural for all persons.  Here Jesus promises to those who are hungry that He will fill them.  He is the Bread of Life.  He knows hunger and thirst and suffering from His own life experiences.  Jesus shows His disciples the compassion of God in that He fed the multitude — both believers and unbelievers — when they were tired and hungry.  Sin has brought a curse upon the ground; Jesus will bring much fruitfulness when His Kingdom comes.  Even now He fills those who hunger — especially those who hunger and thirst for Him and the righteousness of God.

This is a proof that we are a new creation in Messiah:  we have new appetites to satisfy; we have new motivations — not those which are only natural for every creature, but also and especially for the things which only God requires and can provide:  living for Him and His pleasure because of the crucifixion of Jesus for the judgment of sin and sinners.  We have been born again to a living hope, having been redeemed and justified by faith that our sins are condemned and forgiven by the sacrifice of Jesus.

Our deepest longings and motivations — those for which we hunger and thirst to satisfy — Jesus promises to fill.  And like our natural appetite, after being satisfied, we again will hunger and thirst.  So it is for those who hunger and thirst for the righteousness which only Jesus can give:  to continually seek God’s Kingdom and His righteousness in our lives. 

We will not remain with either an empty stomach or an empty spirit; we will not remain in self-condemnation over our own sinfulness;  we will not be self-satisfied or justify ourselves that we have become meek and have an eternal inheritance with Christ.  No, but as we continue to grow in the knowledge of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, we will ever hunger and thirst for the righteousness which allows us to live the life of God through us for Jesus’ sake.  We want not only to put off the old man, but to put on the new man created according to God in righteousness and true holiness.

Do you enjoy God’s food, God’s water?  Do you hunger and thirst to know and to do God’s will?  This was Jesus’ food; man does not live by bread alone, but every thing that proceeds from the mouth of God.

Do you enjoy the fellowship of God’s other children within the Body of Messiah?  Do you enjoy times of worship and prayer?  Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for the living God, who alone fills the soul with good things.

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