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 (Continued)
3. HOW God fills the hungry soul. There is threefold filling: with grace; with peace; with bliss.
 God fills the hungry soul with GRACE. Grace is filling, because it is suitable to the soul. Stephen was ‘full of the Holy Spirit’ (Acts 7:55). This fullness of grace is in respect of parts, not of degrees. There is something of every grace given, though not perfection in any grace.
 God fills the hungry soul with PEACE. ‘The God of hope fill you with all joy and peace’ (Romans 15:13). This flows from Christ. Israel had honey out of the rock. This honey of peace comes out of the rock, Christ. ‘That in me you might have peace’ (John 16:33). So filling is this peace that it sets the soul a-longing after heaven. This cluster of grapes quickens the appetite and pursuit after the full crop.
 God fills the hungry soul with BLISS. Glory is a filling thing. ‘When I awake I shall be satisfied with your image’ (Psalm 17:15). When a Christian awakes out of the sleep of death—then he shall be satisfied, having the glorious beams of God’s image shining upon him. Then shall the soul be filled to the brim! The glory of heaven is so sweet, that the soul shall still thirst—yet so infinite that it shall be filled. ‘Those who drink of you, O Christ, being refreshed with sweet torrents, shall continue to thirst—yet they shall continue to be filled’.
What an encouragement is this to hunger after righteousness! Such shall be filled. God charges us to fill the hungry (Isaiah 58:10). He blames those who do not fill the hungry (Isaiah 32:6). And do we think he will be slack in that which he blames us for not doing? Oh come with hungerings after Christ and be assured of satisfaction! God keeps open house for hungry sinners. He invites his guests and bids them come without money (Isaiah 55:1, 2). God’s nature inclines him, and his promise obliges him—to fill the hungry. Consider, why did Christ receive ‘the Spirit without measure’? (John 3:34). It was not for himself. He was infinitely full before. But he was filled with the holy unction for this end—that he might distill his grace upon the hungry soul. Are you ignorant? Christ was filled with wisdom that he might teach you. Are you polluted? Christ was filled with grace that he might cleanse you. Shall not the soul then come to Christ who was filled on purpose to fill the hungry? We love to knock at a rich man’s door. In our Father’s house there is bread enough. Come with desire—and you shall go away with comfort! You shall have the virtues of Christ’s blood, the influences of his Spirit, the communications of his love!
There are two objections made against this.
The carnal man’s objection. ‘I have’ (says he) ‘hungered after righteousness—yet am not filled.’
You say you hunger and are not satisfied? Perhaps God is not satisfied with your hunger. You have ‘opened your mouth wide’ (Psalm 81:10)—but have not ‘opened your ear’ (Psalm 49:4). When God has called you to family prayer and mortification of sin, you have, like the ‘deaf adder’, stopped your ear against God (Zechariah 7:11). No wonder then that you have not that comfortable filling as you desire. Though you have opened your mouth—you have stopped your ear. The child that will not hear his parent, is made to do penance by fasting.
Perhaps you thirst as much after a temptation, as after righteousness. At a sacrament you seem to be inflamed with desire after Christ—but the next temptation that comes either to drunkenness or lust—you imbibe the temptation. Satan but beckons to you—and you come. You open faster to the tempter—than to Christ! And do you wonder you are not filled with the fat things of God’s house?
Perhaps you hunger more after the world than after righteousness. The young man in the gospel would have Christ—but the world lay nearer to his heart, than Christ. Hypocrites pant more after the dust of the earth (Amos 2:7) than the ‘water of life’. Israel had no manna while their dough lasted. Such as feed immoderately upon the dough of earthly things, must not think to be filled with manna from heaven. If your money is your God—never think to receive another God in the sacrament.
The godly man’s objection. I have had sincere desires after God—but am not filled.
You may have a filling of grace—though not of comfort. If God does not fill you with gladness—yet with goodness (Psalm 107:9). Look into your heart and see the distillations of the Spirit. The dew may fall—though the honeycomb does not drop.
Wait a while, and you shall be filled. The gospel is a spiritual banquet. It feasts the soul with grace and comfort. None eat of this banquet, but such as wait at the table. ‘In this mountain shall the Lord Almighty make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees well refined. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God, we have waited for him; we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation’ (Isaiah 25:6,9). Spiritual mercies are not only worth desiring—but worth waiting for.
If God should not fill his people to satisfaction here on earth—yet they shall be filled in heaven. The vessels of their desires shall be filled as those water pots–‘up to the brim!’ (John 2:7)
Thus ends the study of Spiritual Hunger and tomorrow begins Mercifulness.