Fasting Together: When fasting turns ugly. Wow. What a title, and what in the world is ugly about fasting unless it is the hunger? Join me and we will see! We are blogging every day this month to assist anyone participating in ANY FAST. We focus on the Daniel Fast with recipes but our devotions and encouragement are a benefit to anyone on any fast. I hope they are a blessing to you. You can see the others this week here, here, here and here!
Ahab, King of Samaria, was not one of the nicest people in the world…back in the day. As a matter of fact only one person was known to be WORSE than ole King Ahab and that was his wife, whose name has since become synonymous with a manipulative, controlling and even wicked individual. Maybe you have heard it said that one has a Jezebel spirit. It is not a compliment!
King Ahab married Jezebel out of the will of God and relinquished his power as king, and husband, to her. (1 Kings 1).
Their roles were reversed from the get-go and it spelled disaster.
Ahab comes home one day upset because there is a beautiful vineyard that he wants to have next to the palace but he cannot because it is owned by one named Naboth and Naboth wants to keep it in his family and does not wish to sell. Ahab offers him a very fair price but still Naboth declines. Ahab is so upset that he comes home and will not eat.
Jezebel is furious with Ahab for his weak ways and declares that the vineyard will be his, or theirs, or if we are being plain, HERS! She begins to plot her plan. She writes letters to the elders and the nobles and says, “Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people: And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die.” 1 Kings 21:9-10.
So, naturally, her minions follow her instructions and Naboth is killed. But, did you catch what has happened here? Jezebel has proclaimed a fast! Obviously, religion was the furthest thing from her mind, or Ahab’s either. But in order to make it all look good, she must order the fast as if to appear that either a threat has been made on Ahab’s life or a calamity is coming upon the kingdom.
She sits Naboth “on high among the people”, not necessarily as the guilty one, according to commentaries, but because of his high honor in the community. Then, when the two men that have been planted to tell lies against him begin their stories, Naboth will be seated up where the guilty usually sit, where everyone can see him.
It worked. Just like she planned it; he was convicted, and stoned to death.
When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he hurried down to take possession of the vineyard. News travels fast because the Lord also told the prophet, Elijah…
“Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, which is in Samaria: behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, whither he is gone down to possess it. And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? …In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.” 1 Kings 21:18-19.
But that wasn’t all. Elijah had much to say to Ahab that day and began to tell him of all his wicked ways and how he was about to come face to face to judgment for the evil life that he had lived. In other words, his time was up!
You just don’t play around with the things of God and get by with it forever. There are consequences for sin. Sometimes it is in this life, sometimes it is not until Judgment, but there are consequences. Fasting and prayer are effective, life-changing, powerful ways to see things happen in the spirit world! But God does not honor efforts that are used against others for harm and evil influence like we have seen here with Jezebel.
God was letting Ahab know there were to be consequences for the actions of his wife and that Ahab was just as guilty of murder as if he had pulled the trigger.
“But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.” 1 Kings 21:25.
But something must have struck a chord in Ahab for the Bible tells us that he was listening to the prophet Elijah!
“And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly.”
Here he is fasting again…but not because Jezebel has told him to, not because he is trying to deceive anyone and not because he is trying to murder anyone to take something from them that isn’t his!
“And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son’s days will I bring the evil upon his house.” 1 Kings 21:28-29.
He is fasting because he is broken, he is scared and he is humbled.
And the Lord said because he HUMBLED himself he spared Ahab the judgment in HIS days. Jezebel still comes to an untimely end as promised before, she doesn’t humble herself one bit as far as the scriptures tell us. But Ahab had learned his lesson for now.
There are fasts that are NOT pleasing to God. Fasts that are only to be seen of men. Fasts that make us “look good” or “holy”. Fasts that are just to make us lose weight, ahem, we call those diets! Of course we have covered in previous posts if you lose weight from fasting that is another matter entirely, and we have had testimonies of lives changed permanently through fasting for their health. Our lives SHOULD be changed from fasting!
Fasts are also not to be used against others. Sounds ridiculous to even say it, but Jezebel tried it!
The fast that works is the kind that is coupled with prayer, humility and brokenness. A fast that keeps you on your knees and searching for more time with the Savior. Cleaning out the old and letting God fill you up with more and more of His spirit. Changing the inside!!
Nothing is too hard for God, if he can humble a man like Ahab, there is hope for all of us! Let our fasting be done with humility of heart, for the right purpose, to draw closer to Him, to reach for others and to seek the perfect will of God for our lives.
Recipe for today is Banana Nut Muffins!
1/3 cup date syrup
1 cup Oat Flour
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 and 1/3 cup fresh blueberriesMix liquid ingredients together and then dry ingredients and combine.
Pour into muffin pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
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