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Lesson 35 Hope of Israel Ministries BIBLE Correspondence Course 3

Why Christians Should Fast

LESSON 35 YEHOVAH God Commands Us to Fast!

Why Fast? 1. On what day in the year does YEHO-
VAH God absolutely COMMAND His people
To most people, “fast” is merely the to FAST? Leviticus 23:26-27, 29, 32.
opposite of “slow”! They don’t know that to COMMENT: YEHOVAH God com-
“fast” MEANS to voluntarily go WITHOUT manded His people Israel to “AFFLICT” their
food and water. “souls,” or bodies, one day of the year -- on the
Most people would think you’d DAY OF ATONEMENT.
STARVE to death if you told them you were Anyone who did not AFFLICT himself
going to FAST for a day or two! by FASTING upon this solemn Day of Atone-
To most people, FASTING sounds like ment was “cut OFF ” from among the congre-
part of an ascetic way of life -- a life of suffering gation of Israel!
and misery -- completely devoid of all the 2. Does David clearly show us that one
pleasures of abundant living. AFFLICTS his body when he FASTS? Psalm
But these are MISCONCEPTIONS. 35:13. Notice the marginal rendering for
They are TOTALLY WRONG! “humbled” is AFFLICTED. Did David “chas-
Fasting is NOT penance. Neither is it a ten” himself often with FASTING? Psalm
“hunger strike” to try to FORCE your OWN 69:10. Notice that David’s ENEMIES reproach-
WILL on YEHOVAH God or other people. ed him for fasting (verses 11-12, 18).
Mohandas Gandhi fasted that way. COMMENT: The word “humbled” in
Fasting is a little-used TOOL and key to Psalm 35:13 is translated from the Hebrew word
overcoming our human nature which YEHO- “anah,” which means “to afflict, abase, beat
VAH God has placed at our disposal. Fasting down, chasten, and humble the SELF" (Strong’s
shows YEHOVAH that you are IN EARNEST Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible). The
about seeking Him -- that you’re depending same Hebrew word is translated “afflict” in
totally upon HIM for ALL your physical and Leviticus 23:27-32.
spiritual needs. 3. What is the Bible example regarding
Fasting for spiritual reasons is intended abstaining from food and drink when one “af-
to help bring about a HUMBLE ATTITUDE and flicts” one’s soul -- that is, FASTS? Deuter-
to draw one CLOSER to YEHOVAH God onomy 9:9, 18; Esther 4:16 and Acts 9:8-9.
Almighty. This CLOSENESS to YEHOVAH is 4. Did Luke, the author of the book of
what produces a life of abundant living -- cou- Acts, know that the Day of Atonement was a day
pled with a peace of mind never before of fasting -- did he call it “THE FAST"? Acts
experienced! 27:9. See the margin of your Bible which refers
This lesson will show you what your you back to Leviticus 23:27 and Numbers 29:7.
Bible reveals about spiritual fasting -- exactly COMMENT: The Old Testament com-
WHAT it is, what it DOES, and HOW to do it. mand to observe the Day of Atonement by
This vital, life-giving knowledge is fasting is NOT THE ONLY COMMAND
SPIRITUAL GROWTH AND DEVELOP- Notice now the New Testament injunction for
MENT! Christians to fast today -- IN ADDITION TO the
Day of Atonement.

Why Christians Should Fast
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