Fasting and the Fear of God
AUTHOR: Ben Laur
1 Kings 11:1-43. King Solomon likely wrote portions of Ecclesiastes himself or his life was the inspiration for the author. Continue learning more about Solomon’s life as you read about his downfall. What can you learn from this?
During these 7 weeks, we have focused on the discipline of fasting. Take the next 5 minutes to read a blog post that connects the discipline of fasting to Sunday’s sermon topic.
Fasting and the Fear of God
It is well known that the three most essential things for human survival are food, water, and shelter. Allow me to add a fourth item to this list: the word of the Lord.
For two scores of years, between their escape from Egypt and entering the promised land, the Israelites sojourned in the wilderness. These were not good times, but times of hardship and scarcity. As they prepared to finally enter the promised land, Moses addressed the people to tell them that God had a redemptive purpose for bringing them through this difficult time:
And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years. Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you. So you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him (Deuteronomy 8:2-6).
The Lord wanted his people, Israel, to know that they could not survive with only food, water, and shelter. Their very lives and survival quite literally depended upon how they received the word of the Lord. So, the Lord used food and the lack thereof to show them that just as they needed bread to survive, they also needed to fear Him and keep His word. Without it, they would certainly perish.
As their hunger grew, so would their fear of the Lord. They would be reminded that it was the Lord who looked out for them and provided for them. It was the Lord who had delivered them and had pledged Himself to them. Israel would be reminded that just as it is fearful to be without the basic necessities of food and water, it is at least as fearful to forsake the word of the Lord.
When we fast by denying ourselves food, we train ourselves to remember that the Lord is to be feared more than any of our circumstances. He is revealed in His word, and is to be desired more than anything else we desire. The Lord is a god bigger than our stomachs, and He is to be feared above all.
As we near the end of our journey in Ecclesiastes, pray that God would show you where you still need to grow in wisdom. Spend 2 minutes in listening silence and write down anything that comes to mind.
Week 7 of 7 Fasting
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