This beatitude builds from the previous three, but really ties to those that mourn.  The idea is that Christian believers will have a hunger in other words go after the idea of righteousness.  That righteousness isn’t just merely the idea of being “right.”  Stott says there are three aspects to the righteousness being discussed in this beatitude; legal, moral, and social.  The legal an moral are most comfortable to us and what we have traditionally spoken of before.  Legal is simply having that right relationship with God and would tie to law and standards very well.  Moral is about the conduct and character we have.  Social is the seeking of people’s liberation from oppression.  I agree with Stott and see how Jesus came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it.

In the end we use our time of mourning to weep for the sin in the world and this proves us meek and in need of God which leads us to a hunger for that oppression of sin to be liberated into righteousness.

Try this activity:

As you pray before your meals, pray not only for your food and its blessing, also pray for a hunger for having that right relationship with God, conduct and character that honors God, and the liberation of the oppressed.

Answer this Question:

How do you personally hunger and thirst for righteousness?  How does your church hunger and thirst for righteousness?

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This beatitude must be seen in the light of the first beatitude, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  In fact there is less to say about this beatitude because it is a direct corollary to the first.  I have two viewpoints I want to share about this beatitude.

Building on each other:

It seems as though the beatitudes are building on one another.  Although Meek and poor are similar, they are separated by mourn.  Maybe Matthew was breaking up the monotony or maybe he’s building his case.  Those that are poor have found that they must rely on God for everything.  This realization leads them to mourn over their sinfulness and the sinfulness of others.  That process of mourning leads to a meekness which is not necessarily timidity, but rather an appropriate self-view, lived through quiet gentleness.  That idea of having an appropriate self-view will lead to a real hunger and thirsting for righteousness, which is the next beatitude.

Meekness, what is it?

Growing up I have always thought of being meek as being timid or shy or even weak.  However, being meek is a discipline of reserved power, a character trait of quiet gentleness, and a mindset of having an appropriate self-view.  Stott uses Dr. Lloyd-Jones summary, “Meekness is essentially a true view of oneself, expressing itself in attitude and conduct with respect to others…The man who is truly meek is the one who is truly amazed that God and man can think of him as well as they do and treat him as well as they do.”  In other words it is important for us to be meek to see ourselves as God sees us without overcompensating to be proven weak. 

We are to be meek people and our blessing will be the inheritance of God’ rule now and forevermore.

-Mercer