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The denying of food and nourishment to one’s self is known as fasting. Among the ancients, fasting was associated with expressions of grief during periods of mourning. Sorrow also for sin was indicated by fasting, and the practice of it was also an effort to gain God’s favor during times of intense prayer and petition. However, though the people Israel periodically fasted during their seventy years of captivity, Jehovah was displeased because the practice was, in reality, no more unto Him than had been their eating and drinking. The Seventh of Zechariah indicated at Verse Seven that Israel had still not really heard nor comprehended the words of the prophets. Therefore, their fasts were less spiritual than they were hypocritical. Five and a half centuries later, the Savior taught in His Sermon on the Mount that fasts were to be apparent to no one but the Lord. Practiced with genuine piety, it would result in open reward.
Written and voiced by David Hayes Prophater