“For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.” Psalm 107:9
I’m just not ready to leave Matthew 5:6 yet, Lord. “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” I mean, who doesn’t want to be filled, completed, satisfied? Isn’t that our problem in the world today? We’re all looking for an answer, only there is One Answer. We’re all looking for satisfaction, but there is only One who satisfies. But most of the time we are busy chasing after every other source of food and avoiding that which would fill us.
Now, I just read a devotion and it tied this concept of satisfaction in with addiction. That it’s so easy to become addicted to something else, especially in the food arena, instead of waiting on satisfaction by You, Lord. See, we’re all going to be hungry and thirsty. We all need to eat and to drink. We’re designed that way, that at intervals, we need to be filled and to be nourished.
So what’s the problem? The problem is that I don’t like to wait. I don’t like to feel the sensation of hunger or thirst. I want to quench it right away. And if I have junk around to quench it with, I do. But junk doesn’t satisfy. It just causes me to want more junk. And my body pays the price. While all along I ignore the real need–nutritous food and water. I fill up on junk because it’s a quick fix and easy, but it never satisfies. It can’t. It’s not what my body needs or truly desires.
Jesus said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.” Now I’m looking at that “they shall be filled” part. It’s the Greek word “chortazo”. Most places explain that it means “to feed with herbs, grass or hay and then to eat one’s fill resulting in a state of being satisfied; eating one’s fill.” You know, like a grazing animal that was left to eat its fill until they had all they wanted. But I wanted to understand the tense of this verb. What does it really mean for me and each of us? So I searched harder.
I found out about parsing. That’s looking into and breaking down the whole verb usage. That took me to the Blue Letter Bible and the Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains. Sounds hard. I’m sure it was for the author, but he made it easy for me. Here’s how “chortazo” is defined in the Lexicon, “to cause to eat so as to become satisfied- ‘to cause to eat one’s fill, to satisfy with food.'” Now this makes a difference to me. This, I learned, is a future passive indicative verb. That means that those who meet these conditions, of hungering and thirsting after righteousness this way, will be satisfied fully with what they hunger and thirst after. That’s the future part. The passive part tells me that I’m not doing the filling. It’s not my working at hungering and thirsting that fills me. I am the recipient. God is doing the filling. He’s also the One giving me the desire and drive to truly hunger and thirst rightly. And the indicative part, that’s telling me this is a fact, this is a done deal according to God.
I suppose what I get out of all this is the fact that I can’t do righteousness if I haven’t tasted Righteousness Himself first. See, righteousness isn’t just the character and acts that are right. Righteousness is following after the One who is righteous. So I could replace one word and have the true gyst of what Jesus means here, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after God (or God’s will): for they shall be filled.” Righteousness isn’t a set of good laws and regulations. Righteousness is the heart of God. We’re called to hunger and thirst after all the things on Your heart, Lord. This promise is true for me if sustenance continually remains to be fulfilling Your will, Your desires. “I must be about my Father’s business.” Look at Isaiah 51:1, “Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD:” Look at how righteousness and the Lord are parallelled. Am I hungering and thirsting after You and Your will, Lord, or am I just hungering and thirsting after doing good things?
But I’m finding that You don’t just satisfy. And that’s not surprising, because if You are filling me with You, well You are boundless, endless, immeasurable. In Matthew 14:20 You shared a picture of Your satisfaction when our faith is in You. The thousands ate from only 5 loaves and 2 fish, and they were so satisfied, that 12 baskets full of leftovers, of overflow, was gathered up. And who provided that food? You did, Lord. You provide that which satisfies fully.
Paul also learned how to rely on Your spiritual nourishment. “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.” (Philippians 4:12) It’s interesting how these verbs are used here. Paul knows how to be filled by God (passive), and he knows how to go hungry (he does that-active), of having abundance ( he does that-active) and of suffering need (God’s sovereignty in a situation- passive). And I guess that reminds me that God is in control of filling me and giving me the desire to be filled. But He puts me in life circumstances, both good and hard. And I have to choose to pursue His will in those situations, like Paul. I have to be the one to choose to be hungry and thirsty for Him, His way. And as I do, His promises will be fulfilled in me.
I could never spiritually satisfy myself. That’s why I must be “poor in spirit” and realize my beggarliness before the Savior. That’ s why my soul must mourn so I know that I need comfort and Who I need comfort from. That’s why I must learn meekness from the One who is meek. That’s why I must go deeper than hungering and thirsting for the things of Christ. I must hunger and thirst after Christ Himself. Yes, I must come to the point where I realize that Christ alone is my Bread of Life and that Christ alone is my Living Water and without Him, without His will being accomplished in and through my life, I am utterly famished and on the way to starvation.
That’s where Psalm 107:9 comes in. It’s reminding us that this work that God will do, well, He’s doing it daily as we pursue Him daily. It’s not a future in heaven deal. He’s already begun this work. Satisfaction begins now with the seeking. He gave us this deep longing for Him. As we truly seek Him and His will, He will satisfy. He is satisfying. He has satisfied. It’s His “job”. He’s promised it. And He doesn’t lie. God gives satisfaction. It’s His work. We seek God. He is satisfying. He will meet our needs. But the great thing is, there is always so much more of You, Lord, to be satisfied with. Forever You will continue satisfying. We will never have enough of You. And that is a blessed thought.