Zechariah: The King is Coming
Is There a Bare Minimum and Is It Good Enough?
While God is anxious to see his people return to the original intention to be a blessing to the nations; some of them are wondering if exile is over and if they can stop their “urgent” fasting.
“Should I mourn and fast in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?” 7:3
When we bear a minimalist approach to our relationship with God, it may be laying bare deeper heart issues…
Your fasts and feasts (religious activities) may not be renewing your situation, because, in your living, you continue to put your relationships with one another and God at risk.
Purpose of fasting - “nazar”- to deny oneself; to feel what it is to do without; to get serious about sin by teaching oneself how to say no to physical cravings; to tell God you take him seriously.
God questions Israel’s sincerity because of their behaviour—Religious rituals that grab God’s attention…
1. Affect the way you treat people
- Justice should be the same for everyone
- In your justice get good at the spirit of the law, and not just the “letter of”
- Stop oppressing the vulnerable
- Stop demonstrating a plot mentality toward your brothers
2. Affect the way you treat God
- A stiff neck becomes pliable
- Stopped ears are open
- Flint hard hearts are softened
Otherwise… When you call to God,…
- he will not listen
- he will fling you back out among strangers
- his promises to you will dry up
God’s passion intersecting with his people’s obedience always means blessing for the world.