Every week, I meet with a group of guys at IHOP for breakfast, coffee, and Bible study. For the last year, we have been working chapter by chapter through the Minor Prophets. It has been a fruitful study! We are currently in the book of Zechariah, so we are almost finished. When we came together this last week, we worked through chapter 7.
In the beginning of chapter 7, we learn that for seventy years, those in the Babylonian exile fasted during the fifth month as a way to mourn the destruction of the Temple. Now, that they have returned from exile, a group from Bethel comes to Jerusalem asking whether they should continue weeping and abstaining in the fifth month, or quit and celebrate the future restoration of the Temple with joy? (Zech. 7:1-3)
God, through the prophet Zechariah, doesn’t provide an immediate answer. Instead, He challenges their heart motivation for keeping the fast. Were they truly sorry? Did they fear the Lord? Or was it all for their own benefit? (Zech. 7:4-6)
Examine Your Own Heart
Similarly, are the things we do in the name of the Lord for His benefit? Because we fear Him? As a way to worship Him? Or do we do them for our own benefit? Because they make us feel good? Or because we feel obligated? Why do we do the things we do in the name of the Lord? What a great question to ask of yourself and your church this week.
Question for Reflection?
- Why do we do the things we do in the name of the Lord?