Tag: Bible verses
I pray that your hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. COLOSSIANS 2:2-3
[Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river; and it shall not see and fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 AMPC
May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the Holy Spirit!
For this reason because I preached that you are thus built up together, I, Paul, [am] the prisoner of Jesus the Christ for the sake and on behalf of you Gentiles—
2 Assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace (His unmerited favor) that was entrusted to me [to dispense to you] for your benefit,
3 [And] that the mystery (secret) was made known to me and I was allowed to comprehend it by direct revelation, as I already briefly wrote you.
4 When you read this you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ.
5 [This mystery] was never disclosed to human beings in past generations as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles (consecrated messengers) and prophets by the [Holy] Spirit.
6 [It is this:] that the Gentiles are now to be fellow heirs [with the Jews], members of the same body and joint partakers [sharing] in the same divine promise in Christ through [their acceptance of] the glad tidings (the Gospel).
7 Of this [Gospel] I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s free grace (undeserved favor) which was bestowed on me by the exercise (the working in all its effectiveness) of His power.
8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints (God’s consecrated people), this grace (favor, privilege) was granted and graciously entrusted: to proclaim to the Gentiles the unending (boundless, fathomless, incalculable, and exhaustless) riches of Christ [wealth which no human being could have searched out],
9 Also to enlighten all men and make plain to them what is the plan [regarding the Gentiles and providing for the salvation of all men] of the mystery kept hidden through the ages and concealed until now in [the mind of] God Who created all things by Christ Jesus.
10 [The purpose is] that through the church the complicated, many-sided wisdom of God in all its infinite variety and innumerable aspects might now be made known to the angelic rulers and authorities (principalities and powers) in the heavenly sphere.
11 This is in accordance with the terms of the eternal and timeless purpose which He has realized and carried into effect in [the person of] Christ Jesus our Lord,
12 In Whom, because of our faith in Him, we dare to have the boldness (courage and confidence) of free access (an unreserved approach to God with freedom and without fear).
13 So I ask you not to lose heart [not to faint or become despondent through fear] at what I am suffering in your behalf. [Rather glory in it] for it is an honor to you.
14 For this reason seeing the greatness of this plan by which you are built together in Christ], I bow my knees before the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 For Whom every family in heaven and on earth is named [that Father from Whom all fatherhood takes its title and derives its name].
16 May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality].
17 May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love,
18 That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it];
19 [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!
20 Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]—
21 To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it).
(Bible verses quoted from Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC) Ephesians 3: red letters added)
Romans 7 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
Two Laws at War
7 Or do you not know, brothers and sisters (for I speak to those who know law), that the law is master over a person as long as he lives? 2 For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives; but if the husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. 3 So then, if she is joined to another man while her husband is living, she will be called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is free from the law—so she is not an adulteress, though she is joined to another man.
4 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you also were made dead to the Torah through the body of Messiah, so that you might be joined to another—the One who was raised from the dead—in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions that came through the Torah were working in our body parts to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we have been released from the law, having died to what confined us, so that we serve in the new way of the Ruach and not in the old way of the letter.
7 What shall we say then? Is the Torah sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the Torah. For I would not have known about coveting if the Torah had not said, “You shall not covet.” [a] 8 But sin, taking an opportunity, worked in me through the commandment all kinds of coveting. For apart from the Torah, sin is dead.
9 Once I was alive apart from the Torah; but when the commandment came, sin came to life 10 and I died. The commandment meant for life was found to cause death. [b] 11 Sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. [c] 12 So then, the Torah is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
13 Therefore did that which is good become death to me? May it never be! Rather it was sin working death in me—through that which is good—so that sin might be shown to be sin, and that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful. 14 For we know that the Torah is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold to sin. 15 For I do not understand what I am doing—for what I do not want, this I practice; but what I hate, this I do. 16 But if I do what I do not want to do, then I agree with the Torah—that it is good.
17 So now it is no longer I doing it, but sin dwelling in me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me—that is, in my flesh. For to will is present in me, but to do the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do not do; but the evil that I do not want, this I practice. 20 But if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I doing it, but sin that dwells in me.
21 So I find the principle—that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22 For I delight in the Torah of God with respect to the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in my body parts, battling against the law of my mind and bringing me into bondage under the law of sin which is in my body parts. 24 Miserable man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God—it is through Messiah Yeshua our Lord![d] So then, with my mind I myself serve the Torah of God; but with my flesh, I serve the law of sin.
- Romans 7:8 Exod. 20:17; Deut. 5:21.
- Romans 7:11 cf. Lev. 18:5; Deut. 30:19.
- Romans 7:12 cf. Gen. 3:13.
- Romans 7:25 Lit. Grace be to God through Messiah Yeshua our Lord; cf. Jn. 14:6.
John 7 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
Anticipating Hostility at Sukkot
7 After these events, Yeshua was walking about in the Galilee. He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Judean leaders wanted to kill Him. 2 Now the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles[a] was near. 3 Therefore His brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go to Judea, so Your disciples also may see the works You are doing. 4 No one who wants to be well known does everything in secret. If You are doing these things, show Yourself to the world!” 5 For not even His brothers were trusting in Him.
6 Therefore Yeshua said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always at hand. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify that its works are evil. 8 You go on up to the Feast. I’m not going to this feast, because My time hasn’t yet fully come.” 9 After saying these things, He stayed in the Galilee.
10 But after His brothers went to the Feast, He also went, not openly but secretly. 11 Then the Judean leaders were searching for Him at the Feast and kept asking, “Where is that fellow?” 12 There was a lot of murmuring about Him in the crowds. Some were saying, “He is good.” But others were saying, “Not so! He leads the people astray.” 13 Yet no one spoke openly about Him for fear of the Judean leaders.
Teaching at the Temple
14 About halfway through the Feast, Yeshua went up to the Temple and began teaching. 15 Then the Judean leaders were amazed, saying, “How does this man know so much, having never been taught?”[b]
16 Yeshua answered, “My teaching is not from Me, but from Him who sent Me. 17 If anyone wants to do His will, he will know whether My teaching comes from God or it is Myself speaking. 18 Whoever speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true and there is no unrighteousness in Him. 19 Hasn’t Moses given you the Torah? Yet none of you keeps it. Why are you trying to kill Me?”
20 The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who’s trying to kill you?”
21 Yeshua answered, “I did one good work, and all of you are amazed. 22 Because Moses has given you circumcision (though it is not from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a man on Shabbat. 23 If a man receives circumcision on Shabbat so that the Torah of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry that I healed a man’s whole body on Shabbat? 24 Do not judge by appearance, but judge righteously.”
25 Then some of the people from Jerusalem were saying, “Isn’t this the person they’re trying to kill? 26 Look, He speaks openly and they’re saying nothing to Him. Can it be that the leaders know He is the Messiah? 27 But we know where this person is from. But the Messiah, whenever He may come, no one knows where He is from.”
28 Then, while teaching in the Temple courts, Yeshua cried out, “You know both who I am and where I am from! I have not come on My own, but the One who sent Me is true. You do not know Him, 29 but I know Him because I am from Him and He sent Me.”
30 Then they were trying to seize Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. 31 Yet many from the crowd believed in Him and were saying, “When the Messiah comes, He won’t perform more signs than this person has, will He?” 32 The Pharisees heard people in the crowd murmuring these things about Him, and the ruling kohanim and Pharisees sent guards to arrest Him.
33 Yeshua said, “I am with you only a little while longer, and then I am going to the One who sent Me. 34 You will look for Me but will not find Me. Where I am, you cannot come.”
35 The Judean leaders then said among themselves, “Where is this person about to go that we shall not find Him? He’s not going to the Diaspora to teach the Greeks, is He? 36 What did He mean by saying, ‘You will look for Me but will not find Me. Where I am, you cannot come’?”
Satisfying Spiritual Thirst
37 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Yeshua stood up and cried out loudly, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture says, ‘out of his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” [c] 39 Now He said this about the Ruach, whom those who trusted in Him were going to receive; for the Ruach[d] was not yet given, since Yeshua was not yet glorified.
40 When they heard these words, some of the crowd said, “This man really is the Prophet.” 41 Others were saying, “This is the Messiah.” Still others were saying, “The Messiah doesn’t come from the Galilee, does He? 42 Didn’t the Scripture say that the Messiah comes from the seed of David and from Bethlehem, David’s town?” [e] 43 So a division arose in the crowd because of Yeshua. 44 Some wanted to capture Him, but no one laid hands on Him.
45 Then the guards returned to the ruling kohanim and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why didn’t you bring Him?”
46 “Never has anyone spoken like this man,” the guards answered.
47 The Pharisees responded, “You haven’t been led astray also, have you? 48 Have any of the rulers or Pharisees believed in Him? 49 No, but this mob that doesn’t know the Torah—they are cursed!”
50 Nicodemus, the one who had come to Yeshua before and was one of them, said to them, 51 “Our Torah doesn’t judge a man unless it first hears from him and knows what he’s doing, does it?”
52 They answered him, “You aren’t from the Galilee too, are you? Search, and see that no prophet comes out of the Galilee!”[f]
53 Then everyone went to his own house.
- John 7:2 cf. Deut. 16:16.
- John 7:15 Lit. knows letters, not having learned.
- John 7:39 cf. Isa. 44:3, 55:1, 58:11; Ezek. 47; Zech. 14:8.
- John 7:39 Some mss. read Holy Spirit (Heb. Ruach ha-Kodesh).
- John 7:43 cf. Mic. 5:1(2).
- John 7:52 The earliest manuscripts do not include John 7:53-8:11. Others locate the passage after 7:36 or after 21:25.
end of footnotes
Tree of Life Version (TLV)
Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.
For those interested, here is a list of the 2016 Jewish feasts days:
5777 Jewish Calendar Year (240 Dropped in 135 AD) = 2016 – 2017
Mon. 3 October 2016 Rosh HaShanah – Feast of Trumpets
Wed. 12 October 2016 Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement
Mon. 17 October 2016 Sukkot – Feast of Tabernacles
Mon. 24 October 2016 First Day of Simcha Torah
Tue. 25 October 2016 Simcha Torah – Joy of Torah
Sun. 25 December 2016 Chanukah – Feast of Lights
Romans 2 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
God’s Judgment on Unrighteousness
2 Therefore you are without excuse, O man—every one of you who is judging. For by whatever you judge another, you condemn yourself. For you who judge practice the same things. a]”>[a] 2 We know that God’s judgment on those who practice such things is based on truth. 3 But you, O man—judging those practicing such things yet doing the same—do you suppose that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you belittle the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience—not realizing that God’s kindness leads you to repentance?
5 But by your hard and unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed. b]”>[b] 6 He will pay back each person according to his deeds. c]”>[c] 7 To those who by perseverance in doing good are seeking glory, honor, and immortality—eternal life. 8 But to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—wrath and fury. 9 There will be trouble and hardship for every human soul that does evil—to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 10 But there will be glory, honor, and shalom to everyone who does good—to the Jew first and also to the Greek.11 For there is no partiality with God.d]”>[d]
12 For all who have sinned outside of Torah will also perish outside of Torah, and all who have sinned according to Torah will be judged by Torah. 13 For it is not the hearers of Torahwho are righteous before God; rather, it is the doers of Torah who will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the Torah, do by nature the things of the Torah, they are a law to themselves even though they do not have the Torah. 15 They show that the work of the Torah is written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts switching between accusing or defending them 16 on the day when God judges the secrets of men according to my Good News through Messiah Yeshua.
Jewish People Fall Short Too
17 But if you call yourself Jewish and rely upon the Torah and boast in God 18 and know His will and determine what matters because you are instructed from the Torah— 19 and you are sure that you are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Torah the embodiment of knowledge and the truth—
21 you then who teach another, do you not teach yourself?
You who preach not to steal, do you steal?
22 You who say not to commit adultery, do you commit adultery?
You who detest idols, do you rob temples?
23 You who take pride in the Torah,
through your violation of the Torah, do you dishonor God?
24 For as it is written, “the name of God is slandered among the nations because of you.”e]”>[e]
25 Circumcision is indeed worthwhile if you keep the Torah; but if you break the Torah, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. f]”>[f] 26 Therefore, if the uncircumcised keeps the righteous decrees of the Torah, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? g]”>[g]27 Indeed, the one not circumcised physically who fulfills the Torah will judge youh]”>[h] who—even with the written codei]”>[i] and circumcision—break the Torah. 28 For one is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision something visible in the flesh. 29 Rather, the Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart—in Spirit not in letter. His praise is not from men, but from God.j]”>[j]
- Romans 2:2 cf. 2 Sam. 12:5-7; Matt. 7:1-2.
- Romans 2:6 cf. Deut. 32:34-35.
- Romans 2:7 cf. Ps. 62:12, Prov. 24:12, Matt. 16:27, 2 Cor. 5:10, Col. 3:25, 2 Tim. 4:14, 1 Pet. 1:17, Rev. 2:23.
- Romans 2:11 cf. Deut. 10:17.
- Romans 2:24 Isa. 52:5b(LXX).
- Romans 2:26 cf. Jer. 9:24-26.
- Romans 2:27 cf. Deut. 10:16; 30:6; Jer. 4:4.
- Romans 2:27 cf. Matt. 12:41-42; 19:28; Lk. 11:31; 22:30.
- Romans 2:27 Lit. letter.
- Romans 2:29 cf. Gen. 29:35; 49:8.
John 2 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
Water to Wine
2 On the third day, there was a wedding at Cana in the Galilee. Yeshua’s mother was there,2 and Yeshua and His disciples were also invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine ran out, Yeshua’s mother said to Him, “They don’t have any wine!”
4 Yeshua said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with you and Me? My hour hasn’t come yet.”
5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.”
6 Now there were six stone jars, used for the Jewish ritual of purification, each holding two to three measures. a]”>[a] 7 Yeshua said to them, “Fill the jars with water!” So they filled them up to the top. 8 Then He said to them, “Take some water out, and give it to the headwaiter.” And they brought it.
9 Now the headwaiter did not know where it had come from, but the servants who had drawn the water knew. As the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, he calls the bridegroom 10 and says to him, “Everyone brings out the good wine first, and whenever they are drunk, then the worse. But you’ve reserved the good wine until now!” 11 Yeshua did this, the first of the signs, in Cana of the Galilee—He revealed His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.
Yeshua Purges the Temple
12 After this Yeshua went down to Capernaum with His mother, brothers,b]”>[b] and disciples, and they stayed there a few days. 13 The Jewish feast of Passover was near, so Yeshua went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the Temple, He found the merchants selling oxen, sheep, and doves; also the moneychangers sitting there. 15 Then He made a whip of cords and drove them all out of the Temple, both the sheep and oxen. He dumped out the coins of the moneychangers and overturned their tables. 16 To those selling doves, He said, “Get these things out of here! Stop making My Father’s house a marketplace!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written, “Zeal for your House will consume Me!”c]”>[c]
18 The Judean leaders responded, “What sign do You show us, since You are doing these things?”
19 “Destroy this Temple,” Yeshua answered them, “and in three days I will raise it up.”
20 The Judean leaders then said to Him, “Forty-six years this Temple was being built, and You will raise it up in three days?” 21 But He was talking about the temple of His body. 22 So after He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He was talking about this. Then they believed the Scripture and the word that Yeshua had spoken.
23 Now when He was in Jerusalem for the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, seeing the signs He was doing. 24 But Yeshua did not entrust Himself to them, because He knew all men. 25 He did not need anyone to testify about man, for He knew what was in man.
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
3 Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. 4 Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. 5 You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.
6 Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. 7 Don’t participate in the things these people do. 8 For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! 9 For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.
10 Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. 11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. 12 It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. 13 But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, 14 for the light makes everything visible.
This is why it is said,
“Awake, O sleeper,
rise up from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.”
Living by the Spirit’s Power
15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Don’t be drunk with wine (alcoholic drinks), because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Bible verses are quoted from Holy Bible New Living Translation NLT Book of Ephesians 5:1-20)
Fasting has been my lifestyle for some years. Why fast? What is the Biblical basis? What about today’s believers? Many new Christians want to know. The key point I received is “Fasting is God-focused.” It is a spiritual act of faith. when we fast for matters of God something shifts in the heavenly realm. We cannot know the full implication. We do by faith and not by sight. We need to be led by the Spirit of God.
Let us read some Bible verses. My notes are in bold italics.
Bible verses quoted from Amplified Bible (AMP)
This special nation-wide fasting is first instituted by God. A permanent statute for the people of Israel. Fasting is to be held together with the annual atonement. It is held together with a holy formal gathering of the congregation before God. It is also accompanied by an offering according to God’s requirement.
Leviticus 16:29 [ An Annual Atonement ] “This shall be a permanent statute for you: in the seventh month (nearly October) on the tenth day of the month you shall humble yourselves [by fasting] and not do any work, whether the native-born or the stranger who lives temporarily among you; Leviticus 23:27 “Also the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall humble yourselves [by fasting] and present an offering by fire to the Lord.
The following fasting event took place after a great tragedy. In a battle between all the tribes of Israel against the tribe of Benjamin for the evil they had committed, the latter defeated them twice and killed forty thousand of the fighters of Israel. The fast was accompanied by weeping (mourning) offerings. What else did they do? They continued to seek God’s counsel. The next day the Lord defeated Benjamin before Israel. On two previous occasions for the same battle Israel actually went and asked the Lord for counsel. But only the third time they fasted after heavy losses. And after this they won the war.
Judges 20:26 Then all the sons of Israel and all the people went up and came to Bethel and wept; and they sat there before the Lord and fasted that day until evening and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord.
This following event happened when the people of Israel heeded the call of the prophet-judge Samuel and gathered before God to repent and returned to God. Fasting was accompanied with offerings. After this they won the war against their arch enemy, the Philistines.
1 Samuel 7:6 So they gathered at Mizpah, and drew water and poured it out before the Lord, and fasted on that day and said there, “We have sinned against the Lord.” And Samuel judged the Israelites at Mizpah.
The following sad event is self-explanatory. King David committed adultery with his loyal subordinate’s wife, murdered him, and conceived this child from his illicit affair. He tried to show his remorse by fasting (as a form of humbling before God). But it did not work. The harm was done. Evil begot evil. His fasting could not undo the open door which he had opened to evil by his deliberate sinning against God and against a fellow man.
2 Samuel 12:16 David therefore appealed to God for the child [to be healed]; and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground.
King Jehoshaphat is one of my favorite kings. He is a king who seeks God. He knows his limits. He knows what God can do and will do for God’s people. Why did he declare a nation-wide fast? Because he knows the people have to know it is God who will save them and not by their own might or the king’s might. It worked. The next day God acted and won the battle for them.
2 Chronicles 20:3 Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set himself [determinedly, as his vital need] to seek the Lord; and he proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
I have grouped these verses together because they refer to Israel remnants’ return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple and the walls respectively during the reign of the Persian kings. Before the journey home they fasted to seek God, to ask for protection. They also asked for wisdom/counsel. Fasting was a way to prepare ourselves to hear clear direction from God and to strengthen our faith in God. It is also a way to show our repentance.
Ezra 8:21 [ Protection of God Invoked ] Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river Ahava, so that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a safe journey for us, our children, and all our possessions. Ezra 8:23 So we fasted and sought [help from] our God concerning this [matter], and He heard our plea. Nehemiah 1:4 Now it came about when I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying [constantly] before the God of heaven. Nehemiah 9:1 [ The People Confess Their Sin ] Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the Israelites assembled with fasting and in sackcloth and with dirt on their heads.
Queen Esther’s fast is a famous fast. In fact, the most famous in the Old Testament. It changed the fate of the whole nation of Israel. It saved God’s people from being annihilated by the enemy. Again, she involved the whole nation to fast with her. Why? Like King Jehoshaphat, she wanted the nation of Israel to know it is God who would save His people. Not Esther.
Esther 4:3 In each and every province that the decree and law of the king reached, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping and wailing; and many lay on sackcloth and ashes. Esther 4:16 “Go, gather all the Jews that are present in Susa, and observe a fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids also will fast in the same way. Then I will go in to [see] the king [without being summoned], which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.”
The following account showed how Daniel (another of my favorite Bible character), the wisest man (most valued and respected by the king) in Persian court, directed his attention to God by fasting, accompanying his prayer, supplication and confession to God. Where did he get his wisdom? He read the words of God. He prayed and interceded. He fasted. Fasting and praying was a natural lifestyle for him evidenced since he was a young man in captivity.
Daniel 9:2-4 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the books the number of years which, according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the desolations [which had been] pronounced on Jerusalem would end; and it was seventy years. 3 So I directed my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. 4 I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed and said, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and extends lovingkindness toward those who love Him and keep His commandments,
Fasting by the early churches: Fasting was a natural part of church life. The following passages showed that fasting accompanied serving God, praying, hearing the Holy Spirit, sending missionary out for ministry, and appointing of elders in churches.
Acts 13:2 While they were serving the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul (Paul) for the work to which I have called them.”Acts 13:3 Then after fasting and praying, they laid their hands on them [in approval and dedication] and sent them away [on their first journey]. Acts 14:23 When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they entrusted them to the Lord in whom they believed [and joyfully accepted as the Messiah].
Jesus speaks of the reward of fasting. God rewards fasting.
Matthew 6:16-18 “And whenever you are fasting, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they put on a sad and dismal face [like actors, discoloring their faces with ashes or dirt] so that their fasting may be seen by men. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, they [already] have their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head [as you normally would to groom your hair] and wash your face 18 so that your fasting will not be noticed by people, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees [what is done] in secret will reward you.
The Essence and power of fasting are recorded below. Both physical and spiritual deliverance.
Isaiah 58:5-7 “Is a fast such as this what I have chosen, a day for a man to humble himself [with sorrow in his soul]?
Is it only to bow down his head like a reed
And to make sackcloth and ashes as a bed [pretending to have a repentant heart]?
Do you call this a fast and a day pleasing to the Lord?
“[Rather] is this not the fast which I choose,
To undo the bonds of wickedness,
To tear to pieces the ropes of the yoke,
To let the oppressed go free
And break apart every [enslaving] yoke?
“Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry
And bring the homeless poor into the house;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not to hide yourself from [the needs of] your own flesh and blood?