NIV Zechariah 7.5
Verse Zechariah 7.5
5 "Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted?
Alexzander Slaughter opinion on Verse Zechariah 7.5
Zechariah was a prophet of God, who brought the message of the Almighty to the children of Israel. These people had a habit of consulting God before engaging in any activity, whether religious or not. Priests and prophets were the appointed to be the mouthpiece of the Lord, when consulted. Children of Israel were strict followers of the ordinances given to them by their leaders. Obeying God was a priority to them, and not an option. The leaders made sure all their tribes people adhered to the set rules.
A time came when the nation of Israel mingled with worldly people and got influenced negatively. They left the set laws that used to govern their ways of life and adopted new life styles. This new habit, awoke the anger of God and He rebuked them. Idol worship had become their new normal life where they curved images and served them. Oppressing the poor and the widows was not a big deal to these people at all. Innocent got no justice at any moment because of high levels of corrupt individuals in their vicinity.
The word of the Lord came upon Zechariah in the fourth year of the reign of king Darius. People wanted to know if they could proceed with fasting as they had been doing. God told the obedient servant that Israel had moved away from the right ways of life. That they had forsaken the Godly lives they were taught to live; their day of reckoning was near. They had lost the sole purpose of life and other religious activities. Honoring the feasts of the Lord was abandoned by everybody including the leaders.
Fasting in the appointed times of the year, was ordained by God. It was a requirement to be fulfilled by everyone in the tribe of Israel whether small or big. Disobedience from any member would attract the wrath of God to be upon them. During fasting, nobody was supposed to eat or drink anything except the few who were exempted by the law. People feared plagues that used to befall law violators together with their families. By that, they had adopted the value of being keepers of each other constantly reminding the weak ones to obey.
When God became mad at the nation of Israel, the prayers they offered went unanswered. The scent of their prayers had become mere noise and was irritating to Him. There are those others who used to eat and drink while others got fasting, which was a great abomination to the Almighty Lord. Failure of the anointed of God to be good role models leD the rest astray. Children born never got the real meaning of serving God in truth and spirit. They only used to read about total submission to God in scrolls and therefore had little impact to them.
In the same way, believers are urged to give the rightful honor to the ordained days of the Lord. When fasting and praying, they are expected to repent their sins and be willing to change. Reading the Bible should be their daily routine and lifestyle. The more someone reads the Bible, the more knowledgeable they become. In addition, praying always with an attitude of gratitude touches the heart of God who eventually answers their prayer requests in season.
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