The “Amazing Three,” hunger, thirst, and nudity, have a very interesting biblical usage and application.
|Deut 28:47-48||In hunger||In thirst||In nakedness||Curse for lack of thanks; also God’s oversight of these things!|
|Matt 6:31||“What shall we eat?”||“What shall we drink?”||“What shall we wear?”||Trust God for these things|
|Rom 8:35||Or famine||Or nakedness||In list of tribulations that cannot separate us from the love of God|
|1 Cor 4:11||We both hunger||And thirst,||and we are poorly clothed||List of tribulations of Paul and his team members in the ministry|
|2 Cor 11:27||In hunger||And thirst, …||And nakedness||List of Paul’s reasons for sarcastic self-exultation in the ministry|
This trio is first used as a curse in Deuteronomy 28. If God’s people did not give thanks for all the good things that God provided in life, then He would afflict them with hunger, thirst, and nakedness:
“Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything, therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of everything; and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you” (Deut 28:47-48).
In a fascinating way, Jesus used this same trio in Matthew 6 to teach God’s sovereign provision for our earthly needs, when we trust in Him. Therefore, it seems like Jesus applied the control God had in removing these earthly things from our lives with a heavenly point of view.
You can trust in God, for He has ultimate control over what shall you eat, what shall you drink, and what shall you wear!
Further, when Paul described the struggles he encountered in his ministry, he mentioned the same trio in the same order twice (1 Cor 4 and 2 Cor 11). In both instances Paul was defending his apostleship from those who were denigrating the validity of his ministry—perhaps even for these very three things in his life! Paul’s perspective was explained in Romans 8, where, using two of the three, he wrote that the existence of hunger and nakedness in our lives does not imply that we are separated from the love of God.
Merely going through stress and difficulty, no matter how extreme, does not imply that God has forsaken us.
Jesus was forsaken on our behalf on the cross. Paul reaffirmed that even through the greatest physical hardship and struggle that the spiritual battle of life may send our way, we will never be forsaken by God nor by His love.
Let us watch that we not become like Job’s friends. They assumed that hardship in Job’s life revealed unconfessed sin. That is not always the case. Paul in Romans 8 taught God’s sovereign love in the midst of the hard times of hunger and nakedness, and that sovereign love even up to the point of peril and [death by] sword.
So these amazing three, hunger, thirst, and nakedness, are quite a teaching tool after all!