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When You Fast Do Not Be Like Hypocrites

When You Fast Do Not Be Like Hypocrites: On the fourth day of the month Chisleu (that is the ninth month on the Hebrew calendar), the word of the Lord came to Zechariah. It was during the fourth year of the king of Persia, king Darius. Men were sent to the temple of the Lord God to inquire of God concerning prayer and fasting.

Sherezer and Regem-Melech and men with them were sent to receive from God the answers regarding fasting in the fifth month. So they came to speak with certain priests and prophets concerning the fifth-month fasting and weeping.

“Should we weep in the fifth month separating ourselves as we’ve done for so many years,” they asked? The word of the Lord came to me (Zechariah) to say to them, “Thus says the Lord.” Speak to all people of the land and to the priests also and tell them when they fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, did they indeed fast in My honor?

To the Lord’s Honor?

During those seventy years, did they really fast unto Me, even to Me? Even when they broke the fast and ate and drank, didn’t they eat and drink for themselves? When they feasted, did they not feast for themselves, and not for my honor?

Men and women of Jerusalem should have heard the words the Lord cried out by the former prophets. The words that filled Jerusalem with prosperity with inhabitants in the south and in the plain, should have been considered. Again the word of the Lord came to Zechariah.

This is what the Lord of hosts says, “Execute true judgment, show mercy and compassion to every man and brother.” “Do not oppress the widow or fatherless, the stranger, or the poor,” says the Lord. “Don’t let evil imaginations take hold of you against your brother in your mind,” commands the Sovereign Lord of hosts.

Hypocrites Turn From Reproofs

To answer the question, when you fast do not be like hypocrites. However, they absolutely refused to listen. They pulled away their shoulder and closed off their ears from hearing the word of the Lord.

Yes, they made their hearts like an unshakeable, unyielding, evil determined stone. They wanted none of hearing the law of the Lord and the words that the Lord of hosts sent in His spirit by former prophets.

The consequence of this has been great wrath from the Lord of hosts. Divine laws have now come back upon the children of Israel and Judah. As the Lord cried out through His prophets and they would not hear, so now they cry out to the Lord of hosts, and He will not hear them.

“But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations they did not even know about,” says the Lord. “Their land is now desolate after them, no man passed through nor returned; the pleasant land is desolate,” says the Sovereign Lord.

Selah (this article is based on Zechariah chapter 7)

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