by Thomas Watson
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Theme: a duty implied; a promise annexed.
The Word reproves those who hunger and thirst after Unrighteousness. Here I shall indict three sorts of people:
1. It reproves such as thirst after other men’s lands and possessions. This the Scripture calls a ‘mighty sin’ (Amos 5:12). Thus Ahab thirsted after Naboth’s vineyard. This is a hungry age wherein we live. Men have fleeced others to feather themselves. What a brave challenge did Samuel make; ‘Behold, here I am, witness against me before the Lord, and before his anointed: Whose ox have I taken? Or whose donkey have I taken? Or whom have I defrauded? Of whose hand have I received any bribe?’ (1 Samuel 12:3). Few who have been in power that can say thus, ‘Whose ox have we taken? Whose house have we plundered? Whose estate have we sequestered? Nay, whose ox have they not taken?’ ‘Goods unjustly gotten, seldom go to the third heir’. Read the plunderer’s curse: ‘Woe to you who plunder—when you shall cease to plunder, you shall be plundered’ (Isaiah 33:1). Ahab paid dearly for the vineyard when the devil carried away his soul—and the ‘dogs licked his blood’ (1 Kings 21:19). He who lives on rapine, dies a fool. ‘He who gets riches unjustly, at his end shall be a fool’ (Jeremiah 17:11).
2. It reproves such as hunger and thirst after revenge. This is a devilish thirst. Though it were more Christian and safe to smother an injury—yet our nature is prone to this disease of revenge. We have the sting of the bee, not the honey. Malice having broken the bars of reason, grows savage and carries its remedy in the scabbard. Heathens who have stopped the vein of revengeful passion when it has begun to vent, will rise up against Christians. I have read of Phocion who, being wrongfully condemned to die, desired that his son might not remember the injuries which the Athenians had done to him, nor revenge his blood.
3. It reproves such as hunger and thirst to satisfy their impure lusts. Sinners are said to sin ‘with greediness’ (Ephesians 4:19). So Amnon was sick until he had defiled Tamar’s chastity (2 Samuel 13). Never does a hungry man come with more eagerness to his food—than a wicked man does to his sin! And when Satan sees men have such an appetite—he will provide a dish they love. He will set the ‘forbidden tree’ before them. Those who thirst to commit sin—shall thirst as Dives did in hell, and not have a drop of water to cool their tongue!