Blessed are you that hunger now: for you shall be filled. Blessed are you that weep now: for you shall laugh.
On the same principle of interpretation as that which applies to the preceding verse (see preceding homily), we conclude that our Master is referring to those who hunger after righteousness, who are affected by a keen spiritual appetite. These are in a state of earnest religious inquiry; they are like the young man who ran eagerly and anxiously to "know what he must do to inherit eternal life" (Luke 18:18). In other words, they are earnestly desirous of gaining the favour and also the likeness of God; of being such that God will not condemn them as guilty, but count them as righteous; such also that they will in a very serious sense be righteous even as he is righteous, be "partakers of his holiness." Now, wherein consists the blessedness of this spiritual condition?
I. SEEKING GOD IS THE ONLY HONEST AND RIGHT THING TO DO. Those who believe of God what most men do believe - that he is the Author of their being and the Source of all their blessings, that he is more nearly and importantly related to them than any human being can be, that they owe everything they are and have to him - are most strongly and sacredly bound to seek his favour. To be blind when he is beckoning, deaf when he is calling, insensible when he lays his hand upon them, - this is to be wholly, sadly, shamefully in the wrong.
II. SEEKING GOD IS THE LOFTY AND NOBLE THING. To seek God, to hunger and thirst after him and his righteousness, is the true heritage of our manhood; it is that which, incalculably more than anything else, lifts us up to a high and noble level. Not to be a-hungred and athirst after the living God is to be forfeiting the very best portion for which our Creator called us into existence.
III. SEEKING GOD IS THE ONE SATISFYING THING. 'Blessed are ye that hunger: for ye shall be filled;' and those who hunger after that which is lesser and lower are not filled. No earthly joy fills the soul; it leaves it still craving.
1. Not even the purer joys of earth fill the soul; not even beholding the beauties and glories of creation; "the eye is not satisfied with seeing" these. Not even listening to the sweetest melodies that can be heard; "the ear is not satisfied with hearing" them.
2. Much less with the grosser delights - making money, wielding power, receiving homage, indulging in bodily gratifications; certainly the tongue is not satisfied with tasting, and "he that loveth silver is not satisfied with silver" (Ecclesiastes 5:10). But:
3. The love of God, the possession of the friendship of Jesus Christ, the spending of our days and our powers in the holy, elevating service of a Divine Redeemer, - this is that which fills the heart with a restful and abiding joy, and which brightens the life with a light that does not fade.
"These are the joys which satisfy
And sanctify the mind." These are the joys which last; which live when the passions of youth have been burnt out, when the ambitions of manhood are dead, when life is lived through and death is waiting for its own; the-joys which, as all else grows dim and worthless, become more and more precious still. "Blessed are they that hunger thus: for they shall be filled. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
WEB: Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.