Fast Day 5 of 21: Fasting Guarantees Nothing, Unless…

The LORD said to me: “Do not pray for the welfare of this people. Though they fast, I will not hear their cry, and though they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But I will consume them by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence” (Jeremiah 14:11-12, ESV). 

____________________________

Does this not stun you?  Yahweh tells the prophet Jeremiah not to pray for the people of Judah.  Their fasts and offerings?  No, thanks!  Context here helps.  Babylon had come in and invaded repeatedly over a 20 year period (605-586 B.C.).  As we see from Jeremiah 14:12, God used Babylon as an instrument of judgment over their centuries of disobedience. 

Judah was also experiencing a drought, and thus began praying to God for deliverance.

    [7] “Though our iniquities testify against us,
        act, O LORD, for your name’s sake;
    for our backslidings are many;
        we have sinned against you.
     [8] O you hope of Israel,
        its savior in time of trouble,
    why should you be like a stranger in the land,
        like a traveler who turns aside to tarry for a night?
     [9] Why should you be like a man confused,
        like a mighty warrior who cannot save?
    Yet you, O LORD, are in the midst of us,
        and we are called by your name;
        do not leave us.”  (Jeremiah 14:7-9 ESV)

What does this say about God and about us? 

  1. God’s patience is great (Romans 2:4-5, Romans 5:12-21), but not unlimited (Romans 1:18-32). 
  2. God’s will of decree will show that He does use various instruments to bring about His ultimate plan, but will still hold accountable those who disobey His will of desire as expressed in His moral commands. 
  3. For our intents and purposes, we need to know that just because we fast, pray, and offer sacrifices (of praise and thanksgiving by church going) does not mean that they will be acceptable if we are unrepentant and harboring secret sins in our hearts. 

Fasting guarantees us nothing, unless it comes from a heart of repentance and faith.  Both must work together—you cannot have faith with no on-going repentance.  A life not filled with daily repentance and conviction of sin needs to be examined (2 Corinthians 13:5). 

Read John 5:

  • What areas of your life has God exposed of which you need to repent?  How has your flesh/Satan caused you to react? 
  • How do you react when you read that God did not accept the prayers and offerings of His people?  Does this give you pause, in recognizing that God’s patience is limited?  How will this affect your Christian walk?
  • Why were the Pharisees so infuriated with the claims of Jesus?  What does the OT say about one who makes the claims Jesus did? 
  • Do we truly believe that Jesus witnessed the Father’s works from all eternity?  What does this say about His relationship with the Father?  And if Christ reigns in all Christians, what does this say about the fellowship we can have (see 1 John 1:1-4)?

Check this out:

  • Who can help us go on-mission to Hazard, KY on Saturday, February 19?  Mark Combs needs some help to get word out about Summit Community Church to prepare for his February Vision Night!  We have another one on Saturday, April 9, but he needs a team now to help pass out hot chocolate/coffee in front of Wal-Mart, prayerwalking, and doing survey work door-to-door.  Let’s get the word (and the WORD) out!
  • Baptist Press has a marvelous article on WorldChangers, the missions opportunity that Ron Chaffins has led our youth on the last 11 years.  Click here to read. 
  • Dane Ortlund surveys a number of scholars and pastors to see how they would summarize the Bible in one sentence. Click here to see them all.

 

Be blessed!  Five days down, sixteen to go!  I pray God is teaching you much!

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