Monday 6 March 2023

Believers' Prayer Meeting with The Saint | R 15 W 6 D 1.

We continue with our meditations in The Book of Daniel. We are on verses 2 and 3 of Chapter 10, The Daniel Fast. It reads,

"In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled."

We left off at Isaiah 58:3b. It reads,

“In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, And exploit all your laborers."

The fast is suppose to be a day to deprive oneself of pleasure. This is the essence of the food and or water deprivation. The deprivation is not the end of the matter, but the means to an end. That is why Daniel's fast qualifies. Daniel did not do away with food and water. He did away with pleasure.

It does mean if you do away with food and or water, but do not do away with pleasure you are not fasting. Fasting is not a mere doing away with food and water. It is a doing away with pleasure for the intent of humbling (sobering, calming, quieting) the soul. The soul, not the stomach is the focus.

Food and water are not the only tools for the intent of humbling the soul. A deprivation of those other thing will also qualify as a fast. Again, a fast is not a mere doing away with food and or water. It is an intentional deprivation of pleasure for the intent of worship.

The last part of verse three gives us new information in this discussion. It tells us a fast does not end with what we do to ourselves alone. It also involves what we do to and with others. If we deprive ourselves and not show love our fast is questionable. 

A fast that does not draw us closer to God is not a fast. It is a sheer starvation. A fast that does not cause God to be reflect in and through us is not a fast either. If it does not touch our soul in directing our focus towards God and reflecting Him in and to those around us, it is not a fast.

This is captured in Jesus' illustration of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector's prayers, in Luke 18:9-14. Though the Pharisee fasted twice a week, Jesus summary is

"I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”"

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise."
(Psalm 51:17, NKJV)

Let us pray.

The Saint.

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