Those Hungry and Thirsty for Justice
Taken from The Sermon on the Mount
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. (Matt. 5:6)
Righteousness is the same word as justice; thus, it is the desire for righteousness or justice which our Lord speaks of here.
Justice must be the desire of God's covenant people. To despise God's law is to despise righteousness or justice. Scripture speaks of God's judgment on a rebellious people, on all iniquity. Of all such, the Lord says:
12. Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not.
13. Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed. (Isa. 65:12-13)
A society that moves in terms of self-interest rather than justice is under God's judgment; even more so, a society that moves in terms of deliberate injustices is certain of radical condemnation and collapse.
God summons men to His covenant justice or righteousness. Justice cannot be found, however much men may seek it, apart from the sovereign God and His law. The summons therefore declares:
Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. (Isa. 55:1)
The people of salvation are also the people of justice; to separate salvation and righteousness is untenable and evil.
To be the blessed of the Lord means that we hunger and thirst after justice. The image is of intense physical craving, of a passion for righteousness or justice which consumes our being. Apart from justice, God's justice, for there is none other, we are starved and parched. Only His justice can fill and satisfy us. The promise is that we "shall be filled."