Hunger in the physical realm indicates a shortage of food and unfortunately, this is common in some poor countries when crops fail and physical food is scarce, with starvation and even death resulting. The Bible instructs us to care for the physical necessities of people, even “If your enemy is hungry, give him food; if he is thirsty, give him a drink. This will make him ashamed of himself and God will reward you” (Prov 25:21,22; Mt 25:35-46; Rom 12:20). Hunger and thirst are often interlinked.
In the spiritual realm Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger [crave] and thirst for righteousness [conformity to the character of God, correctness of thinking and acting] for they will be filled” (Mt 5:6). If we don’t recognise our emptiness and need or are already contentedly filled with something else we can’t receive what He is waiting to give us. As righteousness is fully expressed in Christ, when we get more of Him we get those divine qualities of justice and goodness; righteousness is embodied in Him. Our priority is to seek Him first and all these virtues and whatever we need will come to us for He will not force Himself on us, rather He creates within us a desire and when we ask He is more than ready to meet our request (Mt 6:33). It is confessing, ‘I haven’t got the resources, I’m not satisfied, I’m thankful for the relationship I have with you, Lord but I believe there is much more available’. The Psalmist cried out, “As the deer pants for the streams of water, so…my soul thirsts for God (Ps 42:1,2, 63:1,143:6). Do I have this holy discontentment – always desiring a greater encounter with my Saviour? He must always be the focus, not any accompanying experience.
Our response should be to trade all we have, to receive all He has to offer, understanding what we hold in our hands is worthless, short-term rubbish compared to the infinite, eternal riches He has available (Mt 13:44-46). In our opinion, we may view ourselves as not in need of anything. However, this is a totally incorrect perception for God sees us as we really are, blind to our pitiful state, yet He is able to meet our need if we come and receive from Him (Rev 3:17,18).
Am I ‘hungry’ for more of God so I can share Him?
comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty”, with the Holy Spirit radiating from believers bringing refreshment to those in need of a touch from the sustainer of life (Jn 4:14, 6:35,48,51, 7:37-39). In reality though, how often is this the case, yet we owe it to the world to present to them a valid expression of the power and presence of God? Hunger and thirst for more of Him so, from a heart that is filled and overflowing, you can ‘give’ Him to a lost and hurting world; we are but channels through which His love can flow. He is a never-failing source of sustenance and will quench their every need, so there is no need ever to look elsewhere. “He is our very great reward” for “The Lord satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things” (Gen 15:1; Ps 107:9). “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you” (Jer 29:13,14). What a blessed promise! How often do I drink deeply from the wells of salvation, not letting you [God] go until I am blessed and satisfied (Gen 32:26; Isa 12:3)?
Although God desires an intimate relationship with us all, we are only as close to Him as we choose – our desires, coupled with the effort and the cleanliness of our heart, are the determining factors. Why be easily satisfied with a few meager crumbs when we can feast at His table. If only we knew His heart towards us, we would radically change our stance to see the immense privilege offered to us to receive from Him through spending time quality time in fellowship with Him.
See also: empty, famine, poverty, seek, thirst.