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.
Spiritual hunger shall be satisfied
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6
I proceed now to the second part of the text. A promise annexed. ‘They shall be filled’. A Christian fighting with sin is not like one who ‘beats the air’ (1 Corinthians 9:26), and his hungering after righteousness is not like one who sucks in only air, ‘Blessed are those who hunger, for they shall be filled.’
Those who hunger after righteousness shall be filled. God never bids us to seek him ‘in vain’ (Isaiah 45:19). Here is a honeycomb dropping into the mouths of the hungry—’they shall be filled’. ‘He has filled the hungry with good things’ (Luke 1:53). ‘He satisfies the longing soul’ (Psalm 107:9). God will not let us lose our longing. Here is the excellency of righteousness above all other things. A man may hunger after the world and not be filled. The world is fading, not filling. Cast three worlds into the heart—yet the heart is not full. But righteousness is a filling thing; nay, it so fills that it satisfies. A man may be filled and not satisfied. A sinner may take his fill of sin—but that is a sad filling. It is far from satisfaction. ‘The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways’ (Proverbs 14:14). He shall have his belly full of sin; he shall have enough of it—but this is not a filling to satisfaction. This is such a filling that the damned in hell have! They shall be full of the fury of the Lord!
But he who hungers after righteousness shall be satisfyingly filled. ‘My people shall be satisfied with my goodness’ (Jeremiah 31:14). ‘My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow’ (Psalm 63:5). Joseph first opened the mouth of the sacks, and then filled them with grain and put money in them (Genesis 42:25). So God first opens the mouth of the soul with desire and then fills it with good things (Psalm 81:10). For the illustration of this, consider these three things: that God can fill the hungry soul; why he fills the hungry soul; how he fills the hungry soul.
1. God can fill the hungry soul. He is called a fountain. ‘With you is the fountain of life’ (Psalm 36:9). The cistern may be empty and cannot fill us. Creatures are often ‘broken cisterns’ (Jeremiah 2:13). But the fountain is filling. God is a fountain. If we bring the vessels of our desires to this fountain, he is able to fill them. The fullness in God is an infinite fullness. Though he fills us, and the angels which have larger capacities to receive—yet he has never the less himself. As the sun, though it shines, has never the less light. ‘I perceive that virtue is gone out of me’ (Luke 8:46). Though God lets virtue go out of him—yet he has never the less. The fullness of the creature is limited. It arises just to such a degree and proportion; but God’s fullness is infinite; as it has its resplendence, so its abundance.’ It has neither bounds nor bottom!
It is a constant fullness. The fullness of the creature is a mutable fullness; it ebbs and changes. ‘I would like to have helped you—but now my estate is low’, says one. The blossoms of the fig-tree are soon blown off. But God is a constant fullness. ‘You are the same’ (Psalm 102:27). God and his bounty, can never be exhausted. His fullness is overflowing and ever-flowing. Then surely ‘it is good to draw near to God’ (Psalm 73:28). It is good bringing our vessels to this spring-head. It is a never-failing goodness.