Actually for Me?
ACTUALLY FOR ME?
We have all heard stories like the guy who bought his wife a 1/2 inch drive cordless drill for her birthday. But sometimes reality is more ironic that fiction. Take for example the Jews who had been deported out of the land of Israel because of their sins. After 70 years they returned to their own land. Next, the Temple is a few months away from being fully rebuilt. They ask a question “to seek the favor of the Lord, speaking to the priests who belong to the house of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, “Shall I weep in the fifth month and abstain, as I have done these many years?” (Zechariah 7:2-3).
WHAT DO YOU GIVE TO THE GOD
WHO HAS EVERYTHING?
It is indeed, difficult to give something to our loved ones who are wealthy, who seem to not lack anything. So what can we give to God? Not that God needs anything, but what would honor him? They offered God “fasting”, but it was rejected. The trouble is that God didn’t ask for it. And what He asked of them, they wouldn’t do (Zech. 7:11-14). It seems they began to fast in the 5th month because, their temple was destroyed in that month (Jeremiah 52:12-13). Seventy years it lay burnt, but now it is almost restored. Should they continue to fast? Would this please God? Did they fast for him? For 70 years it did not please God, yet they fasted anyway.
“Then the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying, “Say to all the people of the land and to the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months these seventy years, was it actually for Me that you fasted? ‘When you eat and drink, do you not eat for yourselves and do you not drink for yourselves?” (Zech. 7:4-6). Could God not tell that their fasting was for themselves?
OFFERING GOD OBEDIENCE OF FAITH
It is true, that God does not need anything. But it is also true that obeying God out of faith pleases God. “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him… By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed… ” (Heb. 11:6-8). God is calling us to obey his son, Jesus Christ, “… he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36). Jesus told Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5). Giving to God what we want does not honor God like giving to God what he wants.
To obey is better than to sacrifice (1Sam.15:22). Dan Peters