When you fasted and mourned…was it actually for Me that you fasted? When you eat and drink, do you not eat for yourselves? Zechariah 7:5-6 NASB
As exiles in Babylon, the Jews faced overwhelming problems. In this seemingly hopeless situation, some sought God. Some even devoted themselves to fasting. They appeared to be sincere, but God knew their hearts and their real motivation. He knew they really just sought to please themselves and get praise from others.
God wanted them to know that they were not fooling Him. He knew they really did not care about Him or His Kingdom. They really did not desire purity or want to obey Him. They just were going through the motions and appearing to be religious. God would not honor their superficial, hypocritical actions. He wanted sincerity, hearts that were broken and lives that genuinely cared about Him.
He wanted people sold out for doing what was right, and putting their faith into action. People who demonstrated their faith, who “dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion,” who “do not oppress” or devise evil in their hearts against others (vs. 9-10).
The Bible makes it clear that God looks beyond our actions. In fact, He looks deep into our hearts to see our real motivation and true priorities. He isn’t moved by people who engage in religious activities just to impress others or appear spiritual. He wants people who genuinely love Him from a pure heart.
In your life, make a commitment to seek God. Fellowship with Him. Know His Word and put it into practice. Don’t be content with superficial Christianity or religious activities. Be sold out for God and His Kingdom.
PrayerFather, search my heart. Root out any hypocrisy. Purify my mind and heart. I dedicate my life to You. I desire to please You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Extended ReadingZechariah 7