Feast or Fast

By David H. Roper

We have seen in our past two studies that in recounting the eight visions of chapters 1 through 6, Zechariah is gathering up a number of the themes which run throughout Scripture and commenting upon them. The first is the theme of the sovereignty of God--God is at work to accomplish his purposes, not only in history but also in our lives, and he will not be deterred; what he begins, he will see through to its completion. Secondly, we have the theme of the grace of God--God's riches provided for us, riches beyond measure, available at all times. That provides the power to enable obedience. The third theme is that of law--"You shall be holy, for I am holy"--the continuing expression of the character of God, first of all before the time of Moses, and then as codified in Moses' law, as well as the law as it is restated in the New Testament. The law is an expression of the character of God which always stands. Running alongside it is grace--the two running hand-in-hand--not opposing principles but complementary principles. The law drives us to grace. As Paul says in Romans 8:4, "...that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." Underlying all this is the almost unbelievable forgiveness of God. We cannot outdo God. We can sin, and sin, and God still extends forgiveness. Jesus was asked once, "How many times should I forgive my brother--seven times?" Jesus said, "No, four hundred and ninety times." Or, in effect, an infinite number of times. Certainly if God expects that standard of forgiveness from us, that is the standard of forgiveness he extends to us. So here is this incredible forgiveness of God that runs as a great foundation throughout Scripture.

Then there are two visions which bracket all these various strata which run throughout Scripture. There is the first vision, that of the apocalyptic horsemen, who were at rest, and then the final vision of the horsemen going forth to accomplish God's purposes in the world. They are carrying out what God has said he is going to do. That is, the great themes outlined in these visions are themes which run throughout Scripture, and thus their truths are available to us today. God is enacting his promises.

The prophecy we are going to look at now occurred two years after the visions in the opening chapters of Zechariah. The occasion of the prophecy is given to us in the first three verses of chapter 7:

Then it came about in the fourth year of King Darius, that the word of the Lord came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Chislev [our month of December]. Now the town of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regemmelech and their men 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?"

The occasion of this prophecy is a delegation that came from Babylon. This passage has been a problem to translators from the very beginning, because there is no subject of the verb in the sentence of verse 2. It merely says, "He sent Bethel Sharezer Regemmelech to Jerusalem." Just recently a Babylonian document was unearthed which contains the name of a man mentioned here. The date corresponds exactly---18 B.C. His name was Bethel Sharezer, a compound name. He was an official in the Persian court, a Jew who rose to a position of great prominence and influence, very much as Daniel did. He sent a delegation from Persia back to Jerusalem to get a reading on the law from the priests and the prophets there. The man he sent as leader of the delegation is called here "Regemmelech". But we know now that this is not a personal name but the title of an office. He was the king's spokesman, a royal functionary who was sent out to gather information and bring it back to the court. So both these men were high officials in the Persian court and both were Jews.

Putting all this together, Bethel Sharezer dispatched Regemmelech and his entourage to Jerusalem to coordinate their liturgical calendar with that of the Jews in Jerusalem. Were they at Jerusalem still fasting on the fifth month, as the Jews in exile had done these seventy years? As a matter of fact, they fasted on the fourth month, the fifth month, the seventh month, and the tenth month--in commemoration of key events in the destruction of Jerusalem. In the tenth month Nebuchadnezzar had begun his siege; in the fourth month, eighteen months later, he breached the walls and entered the city; in the fifth month the temple was destroyed; and in the seventh month the political ruler, Zedekiah, was murdered. So these fasts were kept to commemorate the great catastrophes which resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem, the temple, and ultimately the nation. The Jews in Babylon wanted to know if they should continue to maintain these fasts, and this inquiry became the occasion of this prophetic utterance by Zechariah.

The same sort of thing happens today on a secular level. Whenever important dignitaries arrive from another country, usually someone like Eric Severeid or James Kilpatrick will write a commentary on their mission. This evidently is what Zechariah did--except that he spoke as a prophet, as a spokesman for God. He used the occasion of this question to give an address to the entire nation, and what follows in chapters 7 and 8 is his address. He answers the question of the fast negatively in chapter 7, and then positively in chapter 8.

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 the seventh months these seventy years, was it actually for Me that you fasted? And when you eat and drink, do you not eat for yourselves and do you not drink for yourselves? Are not these the words which the Lord proclaimed by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and prosperous with its cities around it, and the Negev and the foothills were inhabited.'

Perhaps we will have to read on into the chapter in order to understand precisely what Zechariah is saying, but I think we can get some glimpse of it from his opening statement. They were fasting and, on the surface at least, their fast was a sort of national repentance, a symbol of their desire to set things right. In each of these months a day of sorrow was set aside when the nation repented of the sins which had caused the destruction of Jerusalem. "But," Zechariah says, "in truth, your fasts are not fasts at all. You are no more committed to turning from sin than the people to whom the former prophets addressed their messages." Before the exile, when Judah was populated and Jerusalem inhabited and the nation prosperous, the people were guilty of terrible sins. The prophets spoke out against them, and they refused to repent. Zechariah is saying, "Actually, you are no better. Though outwardly you are repenting, inwardly you are guilty of the same sins, you are still committed to the same course of action. Your sorrow is not because you have repented of your sins, but because the consequences of your acts have caught up with you. Yes, you are suffering because of your sins, but it does not result in a genuine, deep-seated repentance."

This is the kind of repentance you and I observe when we drive a little too fast down a highway and we see a police car with a radar unit. Immediately we take our foot off the accelerator. We have been driving too fast, and we "repent". But such repentance is not genuine, because as soon as we get down the road a little bit, down goes our foot on the accelerator again! This is what Zechariah is talking about. As he goes on to point out, it is obvious from the life of the nation that the sins are still there. The attitudes which destroyed them in the first place are still there. They are still cultivating the same negative attitudes which undermined the nation initially. They have not made a clean break with the past, have not cut it off.

Does this ever hit home! As God's people today, we are characterized by the same attitudes. Outwardly, at least, we like to convey a spirit of repentance. When the consequences begin to catch up with us, when we feel the guilt and sense of shame over the past, then we are sorry. But we do not always deal with the deep down attitudes which caused the sin in the first place. Very often it is obvious that we have not dealt with them because we keep around us the things which caused the sin in the first place. I have a friend who has a certain object in his house-and there is nothing wrong with the object itself. But that object has caused him to sin repeatedly. Each time he sins he feels a terrible sense of guilt, and he says he'll never do it again. But he maintains the object, keeps it near him, and refuses to destroy it. So eventually he fails back into this same sin. His repentance is not genuine; it is only superficial.

In reading through the Old Testament you undoubtedly have come across the expression "the high places". From time to time good kings would come to the throne and would institute certain practices which would purify Israel or Judah. The Scriptures comment on the fact that they tore down the Baals and the Asherim, the foreign gods. But the high places were not destroyed; the high places remained. Do you know what these were? Originally they were instituted as conveniences. God had commanded the Hebrew men to make the journey to Jerusalem a certain number of times each year in order to worship. But it was a long trek, and so they found places closer to home where they could worship. They set aside certain groves of trees on the tops of hills, where they would sacrifice and carry out their worship. But this was never sanctioned by God; it was a matter of personal convenience for the Jews.

After a while, these high places would become Baal sanctuaries, places where all sorts of orgiastic fertility rites were carried out. Then, when a good king would come to the throne, the Baals and Asherim were removed from the high places. But the high places themselves were allowed to stand. And it would not be long before the foreign gods were back again, because such strong memories were attached to these places. And memory plays such an important part in our own lives in drawing us back into sin. They should have gone into those groves with their axes and cut down those trees, and destroyed the high places. But they did not. They kept them and thought they could worship God there. Yet the high places were what seduced them back into their sin. In the life of Israel, as long as the high places were there, their repentance was not complete.

We have the same sort of high places--you do, I do certain areas in our life that someone has likened to parks in the midst of the city, which the city fathers allow to grow wild, so that occasionally the inhabitants of the city can walk through them and remember what life used to be like. We have these groves in our lives that we go back to time and time again. Then, when we get caught up in our sin and find the consequences so fierce, we repent and turn away from them. But then we go right back to them. We have not really dealt with the sin on a deep level; we have not really repented.

You can see this in the life of Abraham. He was a great man of faith, but there was one sin he kept returning to, one area in his life that he never really judged. Whenever he was forced into a difficult situation, where the alternative was to walk by faith, but he did not really feel that God could do what he had promised to do, then he would lie. When he went to Egypt the first time, he was afraid that Pharaoh would kill him because Sarah was such a beautiful woman. So he lied, told Pharaoh that Sarah was his sister. It was a half-truth; she was his half-sister. But still it was a lie. Years later, when he went down into Philistia, Abimelech the king had the same attraction for Sarah, and Abraham told the same lie. If you will pardon the expression, that was his "ace in the hole." He kept pulling that one out when things got tough. That was his alternative to faith. That was his high place, the area of sin he had difficulty dealing with.

We all have them. We say we are sorry, but we are not really and we show it, because we have not dealt with that sin on the deepest level. It can be a relationship that we have established, one that is comfortable, of long standing, one we like, someone we know loves us and will accept us--and yet we know the relationship is all wrong, and is harmful to us. But we keep it, because when things get tough, it is always nice to run back to. Then we get drawn into sin because of it, and say we are sorry, and repent. But we keep the relationship, because it is so nice to have. We keep it, when we ought to cut it off. We ought to cut down the high places, and deal with all these areas of life which seduce us and induce us to sin. This is what Zechariah is saying to Israel. "Do not play with these things. Do not let your repentance be superficial; let it be genuine."

Then, beginning in verse 8, he reminds them of what the prophets have said formerly. Notice that the verb tenses here are past tenses; he is referring to the message of the former prophets:

Then the word of the Lord came to Zechariah saying, "Thus has the Lord of hosts said, 'Dispense true justice, and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.' But they refused to pay attention, and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears from hearing. And they made their hearts like flint so that they could not hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets; therefore great wrath came from the Lord of hosts. And it came about that just as He called and they would not listen, so they called and I would not listen," says the Lord of hosts; "but I scattered them with a storm wind among all the nations whom they have not known. Thus the land is desolated behind them, so that no one went back and forth, for they made the pleasant land desolate."

He is contrasting the present desolation with the former prosperity that they enjoyed, as described in verse 7. All they had to do was raise their eyes and look around them, and they could see what the prophet was talking about. Where formerly there had been prosperity their farms had been fruitful and their flocks multiplied, the cities were filled with joyous inhabitants--now it was all gone, had all been swept away. Now there were just a few people, fifty thousand or so, in all of the land of Judah. The land was truly desolate.

Zechariah says, "The former prophets, the prophets who spoke before the exile, told you that this would be the case. They spoke to the state of that nation. It is interesting that the particular sins amplified here are social sins, sins against the weak and the oppressed and the downtrodden--"the widow, and orphan, the stranger [i.e., the alien, the foreigner who comes to sojourn with you], the poor--and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another." All these groups are gathered up in that last phrase. That is, "All these are your brothers and sisters, and you have oppressed them."

When prophets spoke on the state of the union in Israel, they did not talk about the condition of the economy, or the Gross National Product, or the state of military preparedness; they spoke on the moral condition of the nation. Wouldn't it be interesting if sometime an American President would deliver a State of the Union message in which he would discuss the attitudes of our people toward women, toward minority groups, toward migratory workers, toward widows (And I suppose the modern counterpart of the widow in our society is not only the widow per se, but also the divorcee.)-in short, toward all those who socially and financially are unable to protect themselves, and who often are oppressed and downtrodden? All of these Zechariah considers to be our brothers and our sisters. You see, the true state of a nation is measured by its attitude toward the weak and oppressed, toward those who cannot defend themselves. This is why the message of the prophets throughout the Old Testament has to do with the way one treats the widow or the orphan--those quiet acts of mercy and love which no one sees, but which are the indications of a real change of heart. The prophets deal with racism, and with the tendency to oppress others financially, or sexually, or any other way, and with attitudes toward children. These are the real measure of the state of the union--not the GNP.

Zechariah says, "Those conditions in Israel are what the prophets spoke to, and it is true that things were terrible in Israel at that time, and God judged the nation because of it. But you are no better off today, even though you fast." Here only two years have passed since this prophet first began to minister, and already the nation is beginning to go downhill. So he needs to provide this reminder: "If there is to be repentance, make it a true fast. Because your fasts," he points out, "have become just another opportunity for self-indulgence. You merely feel sorry for yourselves and are salving your consciences. Actually, your fasts are really feasts," be tells them. "You are feeding your egos instead of feeding your faces. You are no better off than were the people before. Make your repentance real and genuine, and then God will do something..."

Now, the remarkable thing is that even before they act, God determines to do something. And this is the pattern throughout Scripture. God commands-- and his commands are very difficult; in fact, they are impossible. But then immediately he moves in alongside to provide the grace and strength and encouragement, and everything we need, to be able to comply with the command. This is why, in the next section of this address, beginning with chapter 8, the message is positive all the way through. Zechariah begins with a formula which will recur again and again throughout this second stage of the prophecy: "Thus says the Lord of hosts Ten times this expression is repeated--in an almost staccato style. He is saying, "This is God's word, not just a bit of good advice or counsel. This is a revelation. This is true!"

I want to point out in passing that true repentance always consists of lining ourselves up with a standard. It has nothing to do with the way we feel about things. Our English word "repent" conveys the idea of remorse-that somehow we must weep and feel sorry for our sins. But God does not care how we feel about our sins. What matters to him is what we do. We ought to be appalled at the things we do, but too often we are not. I'm not. I sometimes think I have the original "heart of stone". There are many things I do which I know are wrong, but for which I feel absolutely no regret. And I cannot conjure up any regret. I cannot make myself feel any particular way. But, you see, the Scriptures are not addressed to the way we feel about our sins. As a matter of fact, in the New Testament, the Greek word for "repent" means "change your mind". It has nothing to do with the way we feel; it means that we change our mind about the way we are going, align ourselves with God's standards, and simply do what God has asked us to do, whether we feel like it or not. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for "repent" means "turn around and come back". You do not have to feel anything. A godly repentance will align itself with a standard, with a truth.

And throughout this passage you will find the word "truth" recurring over and over again. It occurs first in verse 9 of chapter 7: "Dispense true justice...." Then in verse 3 of chapter 8: "Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth...." Verse 8: "...they will be My people and I will be their God in truth and righteousness." Verse 16: "These are the things which you should do: Speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates." And in verse 19: "...so love truth and peace." You see, the basis of all repentance is to align yourself with truth, to love what God loves and hate what God hates. It is easy for us to get that reversed. We love what God hates, and hate what God loves. But we must change our minds, return, get in line with God's standard--according to truth. This is his appeal. This is the sign of true repentance--when we actually change, and begin to act according to the truth. And what Zechariah tells us in chapter 8 is that God is there, immediately, to strengthen us in our resolve. Now, verse 2:

"Thus says the Lord of hosts, 'I am exceedingly jealous for Zion, yes, with great wrath I am jealous for her.'

God is intolerant of rivalry. God can be justifiably jealous, and we can be, too. There is a righteous jealousy, and there is an unrighteous jealousy. There are certain situations in which it is right for us to be intolerant of rivalry. As husbands, we have every right to be jealous for our wives, if there is a rival for her love. And God is a jealous husband. He is intolerant of rivalry: "...with great ardor I am jealous for her." The New American Standard Version translates this "wrath". But the term really means "a heated love"-ardor. God loves us, and whatever rival arises to interfere with our love for him, God will not tolerate. So he will deal with the forces which may be standing against us, the things which inhibit us and frustrate us and keep us from wanting to repent.

The second point, in verse 3:

"Thus says the Lord, 'I will return to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts will be called the Holy Mountain.'

Ezekiel had seen the Shekinah glory, the cloud which signified God's presence, depart from the temple and vanish over the Mount of Olives. Zechariah says, "This glory is going to return. The Lord is going to be present in the midst of Israel." And this will yet come to pass. God has this in store for his people. But for us, as God's people today, this is true spiritually right now. We have the indwelling presence of the Shekinah, the glory of God himself, in us. Therefore, when a command is addressed to us, the demand rests upon him. He is present; he dwells in the city, and it will be a city of truth. We will begin to act according to truth. He will strengthen us in our desire to align ourselves with righteousness.

In verses 4 and 5 occurs one of these pictures in the Old Testament which are absolutely indescribable. There are not words adequate to describe this scene:

"Thus says the Lord of hosts, 'Old men and old women will again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each man with his staff in his hand because of age. And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets.' "

That in itself would be a sign that men's hearts had changed-if children could play in the streets! But Zechariah is referring to the fact that once again in Israel, in the plazas and parks and squares, the elderly will be seated talking and chatting and dispensing counsel-because God's people never rejected their elders merely because of age; they were a tremendous source of wisdom within the nation. But the elderly were not able to make the trip from Babylon to Jerusalem. It was a long three or four months' journey overland, and none of the old people returned from exile. And few children were able to make it. Most people had to leave their children behind, because of the dangers and the uncertainties of life in the land of Judah. These people could think back to the time that Jeremiah describes in Lamentations 2. Jeremiah was seated on a hill opposite Jerusalem, watching the city burn. And he wrote these words in his lament:

The elders of the daughter of Zion Sit on the ground, they are silent. They have thrown dust on their heads; They have girded themselves with sackcloth. The virgins of Jerusalem Have bowed their heads to the ground.. My eyes fail because of tears, My spirit is greatly troubled; My heart is poured out on the earth, Because of the destruction of the daughter of my people, When little ones and infants faint In the street of the city. They say to their mothers, "Where is grain and wine?"

You cannot be a parent without having that touch your heart, because it is always the elderly people and the little children who suffer at a time like this. And they could think back on this time when the children had suffered so- and they were still suffering, separated from their parents. But Zechariah envisions a time when the elders would again be in Jerusalem, and the little children would play in the streets. It is a picture of prosperity and joy, a return to the health and happiness they had experienced before.

Then, in verse 6, the fourth of these statements:

"Thus says the Lord of hosts, 'If it is too difficult in the sight of the remnant of this people in those days, will it also be too difficult in My sight?' declares the Lord of hosts."

They were saying, "That's too good to be true! That's incredible! It will never happen!" Zechariah says, "Yes, that's true. If it all depends on you, it will never occur. But it doesn't depend on you; it depends on God. With you, all things are impossible; but with God, nothing is impossible.

The fifth statement, verses 7 and 8:

"Thus says the Lord of hosts, 'Behold, I am going to save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west; and I will bring them back, and they will live in the midst of Jerusalem, and they will be My people and I will be their God in truth and righteousness."

The Jews have been scattered all throughout the Mediterranean, but they are to be regathered, brought from the east and from the west and restored to Jerusalem. Verses 9 through 13, the sixth statement:

"Thus says the Lord of hosts, 'Let your hands be strong, you who are listening in these days to these words from the mouth of the prophets, those who spoke in the day that the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid, to the end that the temple might be built. For before those days there was no wage for man or any wage for animal; and for him who went out or came in there was no peace because of his enemies, and I set all men one against another. But now [in contrast to what occurred before] I will not treat the remnant of this people as in the former days,' declares the Lord of hosts. 'For there will be peace for the seed: the vine will yield its fruit, the land will yield its produce, and the heavens will give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to inherit all these things. And it will come about that just as you were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I wilt save you that you may become a blessing. Do not fear; let your hands be strong!"

That is, "Let your hands be strengthened to go about the task of doing what is right, setting your life straight. Let your action issue in true repentance, and the result will be that you will be a blessing to the nations." God says that where before there was no peace, now there will be peace for the seed. That is an interesting statement. Peace must obtain in the land before farmers can get their crops out. If you are busy fighting, you cannot sow, you cannot be fruitful. But he says, "Now there will be peace for the seed." And if we have not truly dealt with sin in our life, there is always guilt and fighting within frustration, and feelings of inner turmoil which keep us from being fruitful. We cannot be concerned about anyone else, we cannot be sensitive to anyone else's needs, because internally we are in turmoil. And Zechariah points out to God's people that God is going to deal with this issue. When we deal with our sin when we truly deal with it--then the result is peace. We can then go about the business of being fruitful, free from turmoil and anxiety.

In the seventh statement, God says (verse 14) that just as in the past he "purposed to do harm", so (verse 15) he will "do good"; only (verse 16) "Speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates." That is, "You deal with your sin; then I will do good for you. Stop covering it up, stop condoning it, defending it. Cut loose the things that bind you to your past, and I will do good. I will supply everything you need."

Verses 18 and 19 are actually the answer to the question the delegation came to ask, back in verses 1 through 3:

Then the word of the Lord of hosts came to me saying, "Thus says the Lord of hosts, 'The fast of the fourth [when the city was taken], the fast of the fifth [when the temple was burned], the fast of the seventh [when Zedekiah was slain], and the fast of the tenth months [when the city was besieged], will become joy, gladness, and cheerful feasts for the house of Judah; so love truth and peace.

That is, "These fasts will truly be turned into feasts. You are treating them like feasts now, in that you are using them as a means of salving your conscience and feeding your ego. But if you will truly repent, then they will become feasts; they will become sources of joy to you. Verses 20 through 22:

"Thus says the Lord of hosts, 'It will yet be that peoples will come, even the inhabitants of many cities; and the inhabitants of one will go to another saying, "Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts; I will also go." So many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the Lord.' It appears that Jerusalem will become a tallying point, with huge processions of people making a journey there in order to discover the secret of peace. The final word, verse 23:

"Thus says the Lord of hosts, In those days ten men from the nations of every language will grasp the garment of a Jew saying, 'Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.'"

This is always the result of dealing with sin. This is what David says in Psalm 51. Earlier he discussed his condition when he refused to face his sin. He said, "My bones wasted away within me." This is a picture of the terrible inner disintegration which took place when he would not admit his sin. Then he confesses his sin, and says,

Restore to me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners will return to thee.

The result of having dealt with sin in our life is joy. We are set free from the turmoil that we formerly experienced. And as a consequence, people will be drawn to us. They will want to know the secret of joy, which is freedom from guilt, freedom from sin, freedom from all the past.

In the opening book of the Bible, Genesis, there is the story of Cain and Abel. Cain offered a sacrifice from the ground; Abel offered a sacrifice from the flocks. It does not appear that there was anything wrong with either of these sacrifices, per se. The problem was in the attitude of one of the men who offered the sacrifice. Cain was told repeatedly what sort of sacrifice to bring, but he refused to bring it. The book of Hebrews says, "he kept bringing" this sacrifice of fruit. Abel's sacrifice was accepted, but Cain's was not. And the account says that "Cain became very angry, and his face fell." That is, he became depressed. And the Lord said to him, "Cain, if you continue to go the way you're going, sin is crouching at the door; its desire is for you." He pictures sin as a great, shaggy lion, waiting right outside the door to devour him, if he did not return, if he did not repent. As you know, he did not repent. The result of his failure to deal with sin in his life was that he murdered his brother.

But the Lord also had said to Cain, "If you do what is right, you will be lifted up." And that is what the Lord promises to us. If our repentance is real and genuine, then there will be a lifting up. But if we harbor it and defend it, it will lead to discouragement and depression and death. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 7 that there is a godly sorrow, and there is a sorrow of the world. The sorrow of the world leads to death, because it is a sorrow over having to suffer the consequences of our sin-sorrow only that we were caught at it. But there is a godly sorrow which leads to salvation, to life. The characteristic of a godly sorrow is that it deals with sin at its root level, and puts it away.

Father, keep us from justifying and defending sin in our lives. We pray that the sorrow we experience over our sin might be a godly sorrow, that we might be willing to align ourselves with the truth, and act according to it. We recognize, Father, that such actions are impossible apart from your grace. But you have promised that we will become a city of truth, a holy mountain. We thank you for this, in Christ's name, Amen.

Title: Feast or Fast
By: David H. Roper
Series: Truth for reconstruction
Scripture: Zechariah
Message No: 4 of 6
Catalog No: 3424
Date: May 11, 1975
Updated September 8, 2000.

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