Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. Mattthew 5:6 NKJV
“Blessed” means to be happy or envied. It is to be understood as the person who is cheerful and joyful when the environment is the opposite atmosphere. You might hear a person respond, “aren’t you the happy one?!”, spoken with sarcasm and envy at the same time. It is more than a peaceful feeling, it carries the idea that others want the joy that you are exhibiting.
“Hunger” is to be understood as one who is craving food. This is on the side of extreme craving, not just a thought of eating some good tasting food. It is more like the baby that is crying for a mother’s milk. It is a different cry than the desire to have the diaper changed. This hunger represents the inside craving that tells us we must eat to continue to live.
“Righteousness” is a judicial term meaning justification. In the Jewish mindset it is the “divine ruling” or the verdict that God makes after weighing the evidence. The Jews lived daily under the “if you obey, then God will bless you.” Jesus is focusing on living under and into the approval and not weighting the actions on trying to live perfectly by obeying God rules. Some translations actually use the words “God’s approval”.
Paul says this righteousness is only obtained through faith and not of our best efforts of good works. There is a difference between trying to obey all of the rules and making choices that bring honor and happiness to another. The verdict of “divine approval” was made on Jesus at the cross and sealed during the resurrection. Therefore, God’s children abiding in Jesus also have the verdict of “divine approval”. We choose to honor God in our actions like Jesus lived to please His Father.
May you experience the continued happiness that comes from the actions that spring forth from one who loves to please God. It is a joy that rises above the atmosphere of gossip, political polarization, angry tensions, and toxic conversations. May God increase your hunger and thirst for God’s verdict – “You are my child in whom I am well pleased.”
Blessing Love y’all