True Biblical Fasting (Part 4)

August 2023

   In our last article in part 3, we examined some cases of biblical fasting in the Old Testament. In this article we will conclude our study of biblical fasting. 

   In the book of Esther in chapter 4, we read about a plot by Haman, an Agagite, to annihilate the Jewish people, not only the Jews living under King Ahasuerus but all Jews. In verse 3, the Jewish people fasted and wept at this news. Then we read in verse 16, that the children of Israel fasted for three days, that is nights and days, 72 hours, according to the request of Queen Esther when her Uncle Mordecai, in order to save the lives of the Jews, asked her to expose Haman’s plot to destroy the Jews to King Ahasuerus. She requested the fasting so that the king would show grace upon her by allowing her to be in his presence uninvited and that God may save the children of Israel. Notice, it was not God who asked them to fast but Queen Esther.

   So what it true fasting? To know what true fasting is, we must look at what Prophet Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 58:5. Most people think that fasting is for people to afflict their souls, to bow down their heads, to wear sackcloth and put ashes upon themselves or on their heads. However, Prophet Isaiah, after listing the above description, asked this amazing question: “Wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?” Then Prophet Is ...

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