Thirsting After Righteousness
When I was in high school one of my classes in my senior year was Bible 4. The purpose of this class was to use the knowledge gained from our 2 years of Greek classes to assist us in the reading of scripture and culminating in a written sermon at the end of the year. As I was not much into being a Bible scholar at the age of 17, this was not one of my favorite classes. I didn't see the practicality of it as I was not planning to be a pastor, or a pastor's wife. Why would I need to be able to take a verse apart in the original language? I was never one to let people tell me what to do, and part of the reason I never completed the final assignment - writing the sermon.
I do remember the verse I had picked at the beginning of the year. I don't know why I chose that particular verse. I think it was just because I needed to pick a verse. How funny that God would bring it to my mind today. I was headed to the laundromat for my weekly people watching escapade, and the Sunday DJ on the radio was talking about this verse. It was at that moment I realized what the verse was all about. So here, I am 40 years after the assignment was due writing my final paper. Apologies to Mr. Burdett who was a really great teacher.
Psalm 42:1-2 "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?"
I was walking today in the heat of the day because Wagsley felt the need to socialize with other doggos. When we were done, he was panting so hard and walking slow that I felt sorry for him. We got back to the apartment and he stood at his water dish and nearly drained it dry. I too had a long drink of cold water. I was thinking about writing this and realizing what the Psalmist was saying. His thirst for God was this deep. His longing to meet with his creator was an unquenchable thirst that he tried to convey with the image of a deer drinking at a stream. It isn't difficult to see why a deer would get thirsty.
If you've ever been really thirsty that you drained more than one glass of water, this is what it is like. Imagine your soul being so thirsty for God that just one minute is not enough. Just one thought, one prayer, one verse, one song isn't enough. You need to be immersed in the Living Water. Nothing else will satisfy. It is a hunger or a thirst that is deep in your very soul that is ONLY satisfied by the spirit of God himself.
I was then reminded of the Sermon on the Mount Matthew 5:6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." Not only does Jesus promise blessing, but he promises fulfillment. What a promise! If you truly thirst and hunger for righteousness, which only sincerely comes from God, you will be FILLED! Not just satisfied, but COMPLETELY satisfied! Filled to the brim with the bread of life and the living water. John 6:35 "Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." John 4:14 "..but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Imagine Jesus speaking these words. To the people of that day who were oppressed and sometimes went hungry, it had to sound strange. But he wasn't speaking of physical needs, but spiritual needs. That hunger we all have, that thirst for something deeper and more meaningful. He is that source, that perfect bread of life and living water that quenches the soul completely.
Imagine Jesus holding up a chalice of fresh cold water to your parched spirit while you drain the cup. But the cup doesn't drain, it just keeps flowing. It is endless, cool and refreshing filling you to overflowing and satisfying every longing. Not a drop is wasted.
That is Jesus. That is God the Father. That is the Holy Spirit.
My mother used to play this song. It was one of her favorites. Please enjoy while you drink from the eternal spring that is the God of the Universe.
Psalm 63:1 "You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water."
Psalm 107:9 "for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things."
Psalm 143:6 "I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land."