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December 16, 2018
Adult Bible Study Daily Bible study

Fasting

What is fasting?

Exodus 34:28— “So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water.…”

1. What is the main objective in fasting?

Isaiah 58:3-11

Comment: The primary purpose in fasting is to draw near to God in order to gain His mind and perspective and what we need to do to please Him. Additionally it is to gain the strength and help to change our ways. In this passage God points out the difference between fasting for the wrongreasons… and the right reason.

2. Is there more to fasting (for spiritual strength) than just doing without food and water?

Daniel 9:3—prayers (intercession) and fasting.

What was Daniel’s purpose in his fast?

3. Should fasting be done privately?

Matthew 6:16-18: “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, So that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

Comment: Christ once gave a parable about a Pharisee and a Tax Collector. The Pharisee bragged about how he fasted twice a week. Read Luke 18:9-14 to find out if this man was justified.

4. What should you fast about?

To draw closer to God
James 4:7-8,10—See also Psalms 35:13, which shows fasting is a primary way of humbling ourselves before God

Daniel 6:18-19—Now the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; and no musicians were brought before him. Also his sleep went from him. Then the king arose very early in the morning and went in haste to the den of lions.

For others
Psalms 35:13— “But as for me, when they were sick, My clothing was sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting.…”

Comment: It is important that we pray for others, even our enemies. But in order to be close enough to God to better understand His will and petition Him on behalf of others, fasting is the tool to help us do that

About important decisions
Esther 4:16 “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”

About trials
Matthew 4:1-2— “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights.”

To serve God
Luke 2:36-37— “…but served God with fastings and prayers….”
Acts 13:2— “…they ministered to the Lord and fasted….”

5. How Long Should You Fast?

The fast God prescribes for all of us annually on the Day of Atonement is a 24-hour fast—from sunset to sunset. Apart from Atonement, there is no prescribed time to begin or end a fast. However, the basic, typical fast means going without normal meals for at least a day.

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