Jesus continues to lay out what it means to live in the Kingdom of God. In the Kingdom of God those who deeply long for righteousness will be satisfied.
Now when I read this word I think of passages like: "Abraham believed and it was counted to him as Righteousness" or "There is none righteous, (what about...?) Nope. Not one." .
All those and others like them cause me to think in terms of my unrighteousness and being made right through Christ's. Maybe that's what Jesus was talking about here. But depending on the version you use, there are 40-50 verses where justice and righteousness are coupled together in the bible. It's clear that justice and righteousness go hand in hand and are at the heart of God. As I read these passages, I can't help but think what Jesus is talking about in the Sermon on the Mount goes beyond just desiring some fire insurance. I believe He is talking about a longing in the soul that things would be right - in my life and in my world.
Today, I met an elderly lady through the non-profit I volunteer for each week. She was born in Germany and her brother died as a young boy because he had a cleft palate. He basically was left to starve to death by the Nazis rather than his condition be treated. All these years later she broke down things of the loss of her brother. In our soul we know that's unjust. It's not right. That's not the way God intended it to be.
Children with leukemia. Abusive husbands. Slavery. Babies with AIDS. People dying of hunger. War. A gentle-hearted man being killed by a drunk driver... And yes my own wickedness, my prideful soul that gets angry at the smallest slight and my callous heart. And yes, the reality that many do not really know Him... even those that call Him, "Lord, Lord". This is not right. That's not the way God intended it to be. That's not righteousness
Hunger and Thirst
We know what this is. At least I think I do. I get hungry every day around 11:30 or so when my bowl of morning cereal has worn off. But real hunger? Real thirst? I have never been on the brink of starvation and I am not one of the billion in the world who will go hungry tonight. (That reality is unjust.) I guess I don't know except maybe when I fast. In those oh too few times I have ventured down this path of spiritual discipline, I know it be all consuming.
Does my soul hunger in the same way for things to be made right? Am I consumed for justice? Do I ache for the end of oppression, poverty and pain? Do I long for God's will? For His peace? For His plan? For His glory? For His... righteousness?
Will Be Filled
In the Kingdom of God, these longings will have their fulfillment. It will happen. Things will be made right. Justice will roll like a river. The weapons of warfare will be refashioned into farm implements that provide food for the hungry. There will be no more sorrow. The King will reign, every knee will bow... and we will know Him.
May I hunger and thirst - really hunger and thirst - for that day. And also hunger and thirst for justice now and things to be on earth as they are in heaven.