As you read and reflect on today’s beatitude, please listen to this track from contemporary Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. We will feature this track throughout Lent.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
The insatiable longing of God’s people for righteousness and right relationship with God becomes a longing to be in right relation with others. This is a longing for what John Stott calls “Social Righteousness”. This is hungering to see all relationships put right, as God would have them to be. It is a deep longing for God’s will to be accomplished in lives now.
What Stott calls Social Righteousness the Hebrew prophets called justice. Along with the prophets of old, Jesus’ followers cry for justice and right relationships: “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:24).
The longing for Social Righteousness, or justice, seeks freedom for the oppressed, kindness to the poor, integrity in government, fairness in business, respect for life, and love and honor in the home. The followers of Jesus know that “Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).
The longing for personal righteousness also pursues righteousness in the community and state. We mourn wherever God’s laws are ignored or scorned. We would be like Lot who “was tormented in his righteous soul by their lawless deeds he saw and heard” (II Peter 2:8).
Historians reckon that there have been three Great Awakenings in American history. The First Great Awakening began in the early 1740’s and continued for the next 20 years, inspiring our nation’s founding and rooting the country in Judeo-Christian values. The Second Great Awakening is counted from 1790 through 1820 at the time the fledgling nation was launched. The Third Great Awakening erupted in 1857, leading to the freeing of the slaves. All who hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness pray for yet another Awakening in our land!
PONDER AND PRAY
“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”—Micah 6:8
- The Scriptures say that “righteous Lot” was “tormented” by the lawless deeds of his city. Take some time to note what lawless, anti-God deeds you see in your community and country.
- Through the remaining days of Lent pray to God based on the Scripture: “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land”. (II Chronicles 7:14).
- What do you want To Say To God?