Zechariah 7 Outline
– The Israelites ask God whether they should fast as usual (Zechariah 7:1-14)
Zechariah 7 Summary
In Zechariah 7:1-7, Sherezer and Regemelech were sent to inquire the priests if it is God’s will to fast in the fifth month, like they had done for 70 years while in the exile. God replied by saying they did not sincerely fast from their heart. God complains that the people are selfish and only care to enjoy themselves. Fasting will be useless if you did not do it from the heart.
In Zechariah 7: 8-14, God demands them to act righteously before him. God commands the Israelites to be kind to the fellow men and foreigners. God reminds them of about how the earlier prophets had counseled them to turn back to him but they did not pay attention. As a result, God sent enemies to attack their land and caused them to live in exile in foreign lands. The same message of disobedience and God’s punishment had been repeated in many books in the Old Testament. If we want to receive God’s blessing, we must choose to trust and obey him.
Zechariah 7 Bible Study
1. Fasting regularly is a way of Christian
In Zechariah 7, God condemns the Israelites because they did not fast sincerely from their hearts. There is nothing wrong with fasting but God wants them to do it from their hearts. In fact, we should fast regularly. Fasting is God’s commandment (Matthew 4:4). If you love and respect God, you must fast regularly. Fasting means to go without food for a period of time. Jesus says that we should not show off that we are fasting so that it is seen by others (Matthew 6:16-18). The apostle Paul regularly fast because he knows this is part of a Christian’s life.
2. Develop a close relationship with God through fasting
If you regularly fast, you will find that God is closer to you. You will have more of God’s strength in you when you fast regularly. Fasting helps us to grow spiritually. If you don’t fast, you will find that you have lesser strength in your spiritual journey. Fasting can increase your zeal towards God. It makes us realize that we are fragile when we depend on our strengths. Many religious figures in the Bible often fast to get close to God including Moses, Paul, Jesus, and Daniel. Moses fasted for 40 days when he went up to the mountain to receive God’s commandments including the 10 commandments (Exodus 34:28). When you draw near to Jesus through fasting, Jesus will draw near to you.
3. Reasons to fast
There are many reasons to fast. You can fast to repent from your sin. Some people fast because they want to ask God a favor. For example, if your best friend suffers from an incurable disease, you can fast to ask God heal him. When fasting, you can pray for other people, for example praying for other nations and etc. If you find it difficult to fast for the whole day, you can skin 1 or 2 meals. Alternatively, you can avoid food during the whole day but drink water. Nowadays, many Christians don’t fast. If you don’t know how to fast, you can follow your church’s fasting schedule. Many churches organize fasting and prayer program for members to participate.