Today’s passage: Zechariah 7
- Different fasts had been observed by the Jews during the time of exile. This fast in the fifth month was specifically ordered to mourn the burning of the temple. At the time of this prophecy the temple was still two years away from being completed.
- The motive of the fasting is called into question.
- It should have been an act of contrition and repentance.
- Instead it had become an act of self-pity.
- When the chief end of man is to benefit self, wrong-doing and empty religious rituals will feel “right.” We justify our wrongs by considering the end goals and God even becomes a means to our own ends.
- When our end goal is to worship and glorify God, we read verses 9 and 10 with a humble heart and a desire to act accordingly.
Questions to consider:
- In what ways are verses 9-10 so very similar to Micah 6:8? How is God calling us to live in a world that is not characterized by these virtues?
- What changes must take place in our own hearts to cause us to live in this way? (Ephesians 2:8-10)
- There is a great challenge given to measure the sincerity of our hearts in this chapter? Why do I give? Why do I treat people the way I do? Why do I serve? Why do I go to church? (1 Corinthians 10:31) Thinking honestly about the motives of our heart gives us an even greater appreciation for the work of Jesus Christ on the cross in our place!