“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).
“If you do right, you won’t get hungry or thirsty,” says Zach, age 6.
Actually, the thirst here is something different, says Anna, 10: “It means that people who want righteousness thirst for it like water.”
Have you ever been thirsty — I mean actually thirsty?
In the Arizona desert, I once took a walk I’ll never forget. From my elevated campsite, the Colorado River looked like an easy 30-minute trek. I learned the meaning of “as the crow flies” because the arid ravine I followed was anything but straight and made the trip much longer. After my canteen ran dry, I begun to be thirsty like never before.
God will quench the thirst of those who desire him as a man walking in the Arizona desert with a arid canteen craves water. There’s not one thing casual in regards to this kind of thirst. It’s desperate.
“I think it means when Jesus was at the well and told the lady with regards to everlasting water,” says Lauren, 8, “she took the water and was satisfied.”
Yes, the woman at the well with whom Jesus spoke had been married five times and was living with a man who was not her husband, yet Jesus doesn’t give her a lecture on immorality. He spoke to her in regards to her thirst (John 4:14).
“If we try to gain transcendence through indulgence, soon sufficient familiarity breeds contempt and we are driven to search for mystery elsewhere,” write writers Brent Curtis and John Eldredge in an astounding book titled “The Sacred Romance.”
“To thirst after righteousness means wanting to live according to God’s will rather of the world’s,” says Kristen, 10. “This is the only way to be happy and filled. If you thirst after righteousness, God will bless you.
“You are what you desire to eat! There’s a God-shaped hole in all of us that only God may fill.”
Yes, God is in the filling business. In fact, the word “fill” means to be satisfied in the sense of being stuffed after a sumptuous meal.
If you’re eating the junk feed of the self-centered life, you’ll never be satisfied. The hungry and thirsty are the desperate of the former Beatitudes (the poor in spirit, the mournful and the meek).
“It means if you thirst after righteousness, you want to live a godly life,” says Morgan, 10. “It also means you would act like God would want you to live.”
“There is only One Being who may satisfy the last aching abyss of the humane heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ,” wrote author Oswald Chambers.
God doesn’t ask us to deny our burning desire for intimacy, beauty and adventure. Religion does that. Jesus invites us to intimate communion with himself and his Father that satisfies the deepest longings of our souls.
Jesus disturb the religious system of his day by awakening the desires of people’s hearts. Consider his statement: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Luke 11:9).
It’s whom you ask, where you seek and what door you knock on that makes all the difference. A traveling into God himself makes each other adventure look dull.
“Those who thirst after righteousness will be filled with it,” says Nick, 10. “They will be blessed with love from God.”
Point to ponder: God will satisfy your deepest desires if you look to him for fulfillment.
Scripture to remember: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).
Question to consider: Where are you looking to satisfy your deepest desires and longings?
1452 of 1543 people found the following review helpful.
Parents, caveat emptor! The storyline is brutal. Even though the writing is geared for young adults, the main characters are teenagers, there’s very little physical romance, and the actual violence would probably count as PG-13 nowadays… it’s probably one of the most terrifying books I’ve read in a very long time! Right up there with George R.R. Martin, if not more so. Remember what we learned from Jaws: you don’t actually need to SEE the shark in order for it to be terrifying. Sometimes not seeing the shark is even worse.
The story is basically about a teenager who is forced to compete in a 24-man-enter-1-man-leaves event. I don’t want to spoil it by saying any more, but if you liked The Running Man, you’ll definitely like this. And if you’re young enough that you don’t remember The Running Man, nor did you get the Thunderdome reference, then I’m just way too old. But take an old fogey’s advice and read this book.
Amazon, when can I preorder book 2???
661 of 767 people found the following review helpful.
Life in District 12 isn’t easy for Katniss and her family. Ever since her father died the girl has spent her time saving her mother and little sister Prim from starvation by hunting on forbidden land. But worst of all is reaping day. Once a year the government chooses two children from each of the twelve districts to compete against one another in a live and televised reality show. Twenty-four kids and teens enter, and only one survives. When Prim’s name is called, Katniss exchanges herself without hesitation to compete alongside the baker’s boy Peeta. To survive in this game you need to win the heart of your audience, and so District 12′s trainers come up with a plan. Why not make it as if Peeta and Katniss were in love with one another? But in a game where only one person can live, Katniss will have to use all her brains, wits, and instincts to determine who to trust and how to outwit the game’s creators.
I described the plot of this book to my husband, particularly the part where Katniss and Peeta fake being in love to gain the audience’s approval and the very first thing he said was, “Oh! That’s the plot of They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” Then I mentioned that it took place in the future and that government leaders set up teenagers to fight one another to the death and he said, “Battle Royale”. So sure, there are parts of this plot that have been done before. You could say it’s The Game meets Spartacus with some Survivor thrown in for spice. But that’s not what makes a book good or bad, is it? Some of the greatest works of literature out there, regardless of the readerships’ age, comes about when an author takes overdone or familiar themes and then makes them entirely new through the brilliance of their own writing. Harry Potter wouldn’t have been any great shakes if it weren’t for Rowling’s storytelling. Similarly, Collins takes ideas that have certainly seen the light of day before and concocts an amazingly addictive text. About the time you get to the fifth chapter that ends with a sentence that forces you to read on, you’re scratching your head wondering how the heck she DOES that.
Your story often rests on the shoulders of the protagonist. Is this a believable character? Do you root for him or her? Because basically it is a very hard thing to create a “good” person on the page that your reader is going to fall in love with. Because we readers know that we are flawed, we are often inclined to side with the similarly flawed people we meet between a book’s covers. Katniss, on the other hand, is so good in so many ways. She sacrifices herself for her sister. She tries to save people in the game. But there’s almost a jock mentality to her too. Katniss can figure out the puzzles and problems in the game, but when it comes to emotional complexity she’s sometimes up a tree. Most remarkable to me was the fact that Katniss could walk around, oblivious to romance, and not bug me. Seriously, nothing gets under my skin faster than heroines who can’t see that their fellow fellas are jonesing for them. You just want to bonk the ladies upside the head with a brick or something. The different here is maybe the fact that since Katniss knows that Peeta has to play a part, she uses that excuse (however unconsciously) to justify his seeming affection for her. Thems smart writing.
Oh! And did I mention the dialogue at all? The humor? Yep, there’s humor. We’re talking about a story where adolescents hunger for blood, and Katniss is getting in lines about her trainers like, “And then, because it’s Effie and she’s apparently required by law to say something awful…” Good stuff. The words pop off the page. And then there’s the fact that we’re dealing with a dystopian novel where the author has somehow managed to create a believable future. No faux slang here, or casual references to extinct dolphins. There are some animals that were scientifically altered, but you can’t have a future without a couple cool details like that, right?
In general, this book throws a big fat wrench into the boy book/girl book view of child/teen literature. People love to characterize books by gender. It stars a boy? Boy book. A girl? Girl book. Now take a long lengthy look at the first book in the Hunger Games Trilogy. It stars a girl… and a boy too. There’s a lot of hunting, fighting, and survival… and a lot of romance, kisses, and cool outfits. There’s strategy, the world’s most fabulous fashion designer, weapons and a girl who knows how to fight. This is not a book that quietly slots into our preconceived stereotypes. And you know what happens to books that span genders? They sell very well indeed. That is, if you can get both boys and girls to read them.
The age range? Well, for most of this story I would have said ten and up. I mean, yeah the basic premise is that a lot of teenagers go around killing one another, and sure there’s some romance to deal with, but none of it really seems inappropriate… until a final death scene appears in the book. I won’t give any details, but suffice it to say it is gruesome. There are definite horror elements to it as well, so with that in mind I am upping my recommendation to 12 and up. I’m sure that there are 10-year-olds out there who’ve seen much worse stuff on cable, just as there are 12-year-olds who’ll freak out ten pages in. Still, I’m more comfortable recommending it for the older kids rather than the younger. You’ll see why.
It occurs to me that there has never been a quintessential futuristic gladiator book for kids. That is undoubtedly the roughest term you can give this book. Now I’m not a person who cries easily when she reads something, particularly something for kids. Yet as I was taking a train to Long Island I found myself tearing up over significant parts of this story. It’s good. And it’s so ridiculous that a work of science fiction like this could even be so good. You think of futuristic arena tales and your mind instantly sinks to the lowest common denominator. What Collins has done here is set up a series that will sink its teeth into readers. The future of this book will go one of two ways. Either it will remain an unappreciated cult classic for years to come or it will be fully appreciated right from the start and lauded. My money lies with the latter. A contender in its own right.
300 of 353 people found the following review helpful.
I found the book to be well written with a fantastic pacing. Their is violence in there, but not so over the top as to be distracting. Intimate scenes are sparingly written so as not to be too embarassing (something I greatly appreciated as a dad!!) The rage against the system theme is prevalent enough to notice, but not as overbearing as say…. Ayn Rand or Terry Pratchett.
All in all, I highly recommend this book for kids from 12 up. The ending leads me to believe that this will be a series. I imagine I will be pre-ordering as soon as it’s available. Congratulation Ms. Collins!!
All the best,