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Devotion: Hungering to Taste God’s Justice

Today in the Word
Today in the Word Devotional
Read Matthew 5:1-12
Hungering to Taste God’s Justice

In his famous children’s novel The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis tells a story of human hunger leading to near disaster. Edmund, one of novel’s main characters, finds himself in the magical land of Narnia where he encounters the White Witch, who presents herself as the Queen of Narnia. Seeking to manipulate Edmund, she offers him whatever he would like best to eat. When he asks for Turkish Delight, a jelly-like candy filled with chopped fruits and nuts, she produces several pounds that he greedily eats. But the candy carries an enchantment, and it creates such a ravenous hunger for more that Edmund betrays his brother and sisters in the quest to taste it again.

Often our hungers are similarly disastrous, shaped by what Paul calls the “desires of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16–17). To satisfy such desires, we too would betray our brothers and sisters. But Jesus speaks of a form of hunger that leads not to harm but to holiness. He proclaims that among the blessed are those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness” (v. 6). Righteousness involves being in right relationship both with God and with our brothers and sisters. Those who truly hunger and thirst for it will go to great lengths to satisfy their desires, showing mercy to others (v. 7), making peace (v. 9), and enduring persecution (vv. 10–12).

Despite such trials, Jesus promises us that those who hunger for righteousness will find fulfillment and satisfaction. This is a craving shared by God, who also “loves righteousness and justice” (Ps. 33:5), and ultimately God’s will is to be done “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10). He will satisfy our hunger for His righteousness—a promise so sweet, you can almost taste it.


Ancient Christian practice includes refraining from eating for a period of time as a spiritual discipline, using hunger pangs to focus on the desire for God’s righteousness and love. Although you may not be able to practice fasting, when you experience hunger pangs today, let them first turn your mind to hunger for God.

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