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Working up an appetite for God | Columnists

The appetite is a powerful force. It is that strong desire to satisfy a craving or a physical need. Without an appetite for food or water, we would eventually starve our bodies of the needed sustenance to live. On the other hand, hunger that is satisfied by food and water not only keeps us alive, but is a force that must continually be fed. There is basic wisdom in the notion that you should not go grocery shopping when you are hungry, because it leads to buying food you may not have planned for and to spending more money than you intended. Hunger impacts our decisions.

Of course Jesus understood this basic need in the human body, and in his incredible wisdom, he used a physical attribute to illustrate a spiritual truth, as was his teaching custom. He said in Matthew 5:6: “God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.”

 There is a blessing for those who hunger and thirst for justice. The blessing is satisfaction; like eating a great-tasting dinner at the end of a hard day’s work. The difference between quenched thirst and unquenched thirst is drastic. There have been a few times this summer when I’ve run in the middle of the afternoon, and it was hot and humid. At the end of the run, I don’t think about any other concerns or issues in my life because my mind and body are singularly focused on getting water as quickly as possible. Water relieves thirst; food alleviates the appetite. Hunger and satisfaction are not difficult concepts, but what did Jesus mean when he used the word “justice”?

Justice, according to the Bible dictionary, is defined as righteousness — a life or lifestyle in conformity to justice, law, or morality as given by God. At first glance, hungering for laws and morality does not seem very appetizing. A better way to describe a person hungry for righteousness is any…

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