He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
I wonder if you have ever been hungry – really, really, really hungry – so starved of sustenance that you would do anything for a crust of bread? I wonder if you have ever experienced agonising pangs of dry, parched thirst – thirst, so raging – it caused your dehydrated body to cry out in crazed longing? Over a sixth of humanity feel the ravages of physical hunger and craving for water. Many more hit pillows or pavement with a deep emptiness in their belly and bowls. However shocking such statistics – more horrific is the world’s spiritual hunger. However scandalous the malnourished hordes of humanity are.. spiritual need is an even greater lack.
Acute, bodily needs are almost trifling compared with humanity’s deep spiritual want, and yet the deep-seated spiritual need is less discernible in today’s masked culture. Man’s intense, spiritual dearth is often hidden, disguised or camouflaged.. hidden disguised or camouflaged beneath a self-erected, protective exterior. Can you argue that God is not good, or gracious to allow such physical deficiency? No, for God makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, He sends rain on the just and the unjust. Matt.5:45. It is man’s sins of greed and disinterest that permits scarcity and want in the world. It is Satan’s ploy to infect the world and cause distress of nations and pain to man.
Though very real, the physical need of man is a parable of the grotesque paucity.. an allegory lurking behind closed church doors and spiritual slums of the globe. Can you argue that God is not good, or gracious to allow such spiritual deficiency? No – for had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me, said Jesus, for he wrote of Me. John 5:46.
The Scripture are the most widely circulated book, and yet the Word of God often remains unopened and unread and dusty. Many seek out gnostic knowledge or search the scripture to discover codes and signs. Jesus accused those of His day, of so much of what is infecting the church today. He accused: Ye search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: John 5:39
There are a great number attend churches and chapels, where blessing of grace should abound.. yet men are not fed, they are sent empty away. They are no better, no happier, nor satisfied despite the privilege they just enjoy, for their hearts are lukewarm toward the Lord of their salvation. They have left their First Love for the baubles of the World – the fleshpots of Egypt: Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the Words of the LORD. Amos 8:11
Is the onus on the minister or teacher? Not if Mary’s sweet words are to be understood: He hath filled the HUNGRY with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away, she sings. No.. the burden of responsibility for spiritual food firmly remains on each individual. Such spiritual lack must be firmly laid at the feet of each person with tickled ears. Every man and every woman has choices to make between famine and fullness – spiritual famine or spiritual fullness: for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears” 2Tim.4:3
I once heard a story of a woman with consumption or an eating disorder. She went to a glorious place of rest and plenty in which to recover from her ailment. She was lavished with all sorts of tempting fruits and delicious foods. The climate was indeed salubrious.. the environment bursting with wonderful foliage. She had everything that one could desire to satisfy her body. She was given all she could desire to satiate her bodily needs, but in a mournful letter before her untimely death she made a bitter and severe complaint:- “Oh,” she wrote, “if only I had an appetite, I am sure I would soon grow well, amid such luxuries!”
God spreads His table with great abundance – even in the presence of our enemies, and Mary sang, He fills the hungry with good things – pressed down and spilling over. For whosoever hath, (hunger for the Lord) to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, (spiritual hunger) from him shall be taken away even what he hath. Matt.13:12 – and the rich he hath sent empty away!
Jesus told us that we would have the poor with us always. Jesus told us to feed the hungry, and Paul reminded us, I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” Phil.4:12 Whatever our station in the physical realm, whether ‘full or hungry’ remember that your spiritual food is of the greatest importance to you. Our constant prayer to the Father should be – Keep me hungry for You.
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