God told Israel to take off jewelry ornaments by Mount Horeb in Exodus 33:6. Israelites told to strip themselves of their jewelry to stop wearing it due to their stiff neckedness that made God angry. God’s authority as gold provider teaches them to be humble not insolent because they dress in luxury gold. God forced them to be accountable for their stiff necked behaviour in life to reflect on their actions. So must appear in deep mourning repent of their circumstances as God told Moses. They cried at the sad news Moses relayed but remorse requires practice of a demure, sombre, silence to signify sorrow, grief and regret. Luxury jewels, trinkets, ornaments taken off, hairstyle kept simple, covered or shaved to be humble in the sight of God. Some wear sandals or walk barefoot in sackcloth as sign of humility to seek face of God in prayer of repentance. Humble penitence pleases God if mankind strips off excess to lay themselves bare before God to enter HIS Presence in the temple in silence. Its a deep reflection to seek God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness to search their heart, soul in repentance. God’s decision is not cruelty but of pity and mercy of God’s concern and love for them to change. Faces must show grief, tears or grievous sighs, groaning, sobs pleading for remission of sins, promises of eternal life in Christ. God required Israelites to show true remorse in their appearance in anguish of souls at the foot of Mount Horeb. God warned them about their stiff-neckedness that results in punishment from God. Isaiah 2:19-22 in Bible says people hide in caves, holes, rocks in fear of the LORD’S GLORY and Majesty as HE rises to shake earth. 20 That day people will cast idols of silver, gold made to worship to moles and cave bats. Revelation 6:15-17 kings of the earth, princes, generals, rich, mighty, slave, free hide in caves of rocks, mountains. 16 They call mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of God who sits on the throne and from wrath of the Lamb. 17 The great day of wrath has come and who can stand God?”As Revelation 6:15-17 says The kings of earth, princes, generals, rich, mighty, slave or free hide in caves among rocks of mountains. 16 They call on mountain and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of God who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. 17 The great day of wrath has come who can stand God?” God expects humility to see external physical norms associated with sadness or grief and sorrow. God told Moses to tell them to put off ornaments until God decides what to do with Israel to move on as God instructed Moses. This God’s command was to a “stiff neck” people in time of anger against their rebellion. It does not mean Christians must never wear gold. Neither are ornaments to be a centre of focus for wrong reasons of a negative attention seeking behaviour. In 1 Timothy 2:9 he warns Church women to dress in moderation compared to the vulgar outlandish costumes to draw an attention of moral decadence. In 1 Peter 3:3 the problems of affluence in Church meant adornment outwardly arranging the hair, wearing gold putting on fine apparels became competition to outdo each other to show off even in giving. It is still an issue as Peter is talking about modesty in dress and moderation in all things. Jewelry is good as God adorns His Bride with jewels in prophecy living in Golden heavenly city bedazzled with precious jewel in New Heaven and New earth freely given to all those in Christ.But going and spending too much time preparing self with gold to look bizarre to impress to seduce in the presence of God’s house is at the heart of the matter. Gold is good to Glorify God at the heart of worship in Church in His Presence so is not fashion catwalk. Christians live in a world of luxury and decadence Peter warned of the danger of lack of modesty in adornment in the Church. A senseless extravagance to show off is not modesty to focus on God for their selfless service of goodness. Bible says Christians to be adorned modestly in humility. Timothy says ladies in church adorn your heart. I Timothy 2:9 says wear modest apparel and be properly covered. In moderation use simple braid hair, gold, pearls not a costly clothing to show off wealth. These passages confirm the notion of stripping off fine jewels and rich clothes in times of deep grief and humiliation in Micah 1:8. To wail and howl; strip in sackcloth or simple clothes to make wailing sound of mourning required by a sincere grief. In Numbers 31:50 some gave offering to the LORD gold articles, armlet bracelets, signet rings earrings, necklaces to make atonement before the LORD. 51 Moses and Eleazar the priest accepted gold, all crafted articles. 52 from commanders of thousands, commanders of hundreds so Moses and Eleazar presented gifts to the LORD weighed 16,750 shekels. 53 From soldier’s plunder. 54 Moses and Eleazar the priest took gold to tent of meeting as memorial of Israelites before the LORD.Godly sorrow and mourning has a hope of eternal life and given precious jewels. Church is not a time for fashion parades to show off gold wealth. Or of changing clothes many times during sad funerals like a wedding feast. Costs thousands to those planning funeral to spend money after death but not in the lifetime. Deep grief or sorrow strips fineries of life in sadness for a season. God expects life to return to normal after the time of sorrow and grief. In 1 Samuel 19:24 the extreme deep devotional exercise of Saul under prophetic influence strips him bare before God. Israel is humbled by God. Ancient Jewish name יהוה of Jehovah’s Divine protection in a golden ornament used to make golden calf had consequence laying naked, defenceless. All ornaments or spiritual things of God commanded to lay off and to not wear symbols of Divine protection forfeited by transgression until after repentance. God said, “That I may know what to do to Israel” under God’s Divine protection shield is commanded to put aside. Many parted with ornaments put aside and later worn again. Lots of jewels, wives, daughters, sons of 600,000 men stripped to make golden calf. Rest of ornaments later used in Tabernacle furnishing so much people were asked to stop giving it became too much in Exodus 36:5-6. A lesson here is not to put confidence in gold wealth, riches but put confidence in God. Whoever lost gold or riches God is able to restore a 100 fold in this life and in eternal life to come in heaven.
Bible verses on fasting help decide the kind of fast and purpose of fast. In Luke 4:2-4 Jesus Fasted and Prayed 2 for forty days and was then tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days so was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God then turn stones into bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written man shall not live bread alone.’ Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 17:21 and Mark 9:29 in the Bible evil spirits of that kind is only driven out by prayer and fasting. Power of prayer and fasting enables intense time of prayer with God to focus more to seek the Face of God to become more empowered and receive God’s direction to take action. Except by prayer, answers and miracles from God are unattainable, hindered by spiritual wickedness in high places. Fasting is a Biblical normal part of Christian life in obedience for God to hear and answer prayer when HE wants to do so. People fast for various reasons in Bible, based on circumstances God is sought after. Prayer for breakthrough breaks barrier through power of the Holy Spirit’s outpouring. Fasting is part of God’s warfare strategy to defeat the demons of rebellion, pride, witchcraft, poverty and lack. When evil witchcraft spiritual attacks unfold God’s POWER manifest to destroy it in the Mighty Name of Jesus. The evil curses and witchcraft spells are broken and removed in the Name of Jesus to get solution to live in peace and experience healing from God in Jesus Name. Before starting a fast if you have any health or medical problems check with a doctor if on medication. A person starting fast, if first time, especially the young children fast half a day drinking water or fruit juice praying from 6am-12 noon is more than enough for God to answer prayer. If there are no health problems the next level is a full day fasting with water or fruit juice, to help the body to cope with withdrawal of food. If prayer or fasting lasts for three days it is wise to drink water or fruit juice to ensure the body is healthy and coping well. Jesus the Son of God’s body lasted without food for 40 days. An ordinary human body must be careful because the body lasts from two days to a week without liquids but the person’s health, weather and individual physical activity levels help determine how long a person lasts without water. Estimating how long bodies do without food or water tends to depend on weeks worth of reserve energy from food in the body already. Water regulates body temperature, digestion, waste disposal, hydration, 7 days is the maximum limit the body can cope. God’s General Robert Liardon once said, if prayer and fasting is not heard or answered by God within three days something is seriously wrong so join prayer agreement with matured mentor prayer warriors to deal with the root of persistent problem. If one defeat a thousand and two defeat ten thousand then to see value of corporate prayer in Jesus Name. Stop fasting immediately to seek deliverance and Godly direction to overcome challenges. Never start a dry fast without water and food more than three days unless trained Biblically first to know and understand the reasons for fasting. Do not fast for 7 days without any water or fruit unless you are under the authority and guidance of seasoned pastor among other believers for help or support. Do not copy people bragging of fasting: 10, 14, 21, 40, 70 days to think God will answer your prayer too. There is special reason long fasting is required in group fasting for the religious rituals. Children or sick people must never be forced to fast because you fast on behalf of family. The Bible allows intercession prayer on behalf of family household so everyone cannot be forced to partake in it before God HEARS. A personal prayer Jesus says, go into private closet to pray so God will hear to openly reward you.
Matthew 6:16-18 Fast in Secret
16 “When you fast, do not look sad like hypocrites to disfigure faces to show others you are fasting. Truly I tell you, you will not receive reward from God. 17 When you fast put oil on your head, wash your face 18 so it’s not obvious to others you are fasting, but only Father Goprayerssecret prayers to reward you.
Luke 18:1-12 Persistent Prayer
1. To prepare for ministry. Jesus spent 40 days and nights in wilderness fasting and praying before He did God’s work on earth. He spent time alone preparing for His Father’s work in Matthew 4:1-17; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-14.
2. To seek God’s wisdom. Paul and Barnabas prayed and fasted for elders of the churches before committing them to the Lord for His service in Acts 14:23.
3. To show grief. Nehemiah mourned, fasted, and prayed when he learned Jerusalem’s walls broke down, leaving the Israelites vulnerable and disgraced in Nehemiah 1:1-4.
4. To seek deliverance or protection. Ezra declared corporate fast and prayed for safe journey for Israelites as they travelled 900 miles to Jerusalem from Babylon in Ezra 8:21-23.
5. To repent. After Jonah’s judgements against Nineveh city, the king covered himself with sackcloth and sat in the dust with people to fast and pray for 40 days. In Jonah 3:10, “God saw how they turned from their evil ways so forgave
6. To gain victory. After losing 40,000 men in battle in two days, the Israelites cried to God for help. In Judges 20:26 the people went to Bethel, “sat weeping before the Lord.” They “fasted that day until evening.” The next day the Lord gave them victory over the Benjamites.
7. To worship God. Luke 2:37 says that 84 year old prophetess Anna never left temple but worshiped God night and day, fasting and praying, devoted to God and fasting expressing love for God.
Despite biblical examples throughout.
1 Corinthians 7:5 Spouse Agrees
1 Samuel 7:7 Fighting Battles
2 Samuel 1:12 During Grieving
Acts 13:2 Choosing The Leaders
Acts 14:23 Appointing Elders
Daniel 10:3 God’s Intervention
Esther 4:16 Seeking God Favour
Exodus 34:28 Seek God’s Face
Joel 2:12 During Repentance
Luke 18:12 Godly Duty To Fast
Nehemiah 1:4 For Intercession
Psalm 69:10 Personal Prayer
Psalm 35:13-14 God’s Healing
Joel 2:12-13 God’s Forgiveness
Acts 13:3-4 To Go On A Mission
Daniel 9:3-5 To Return to God
2 Samuel 12:15-17 To Save Lives
1 Kings 21:25-27 Godly Humility
Ahab sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the LORD, urged on by Jezebel his wife. 26 He behaved in vilest manner by going after idols like Amorites the LORD drove out before Israel. 27 Ahab heard God’s words from prophet Elijah, tore his clothes, put on sackcloth fasted, lay in sackcloth and went around humbly.
Ezra 8:21-23 For Travel Mercy
Jonah 3:5-9 To Stop God’s Anger
Jesus says fasting is required in certain cases to be victorious in life physically and spiritually. The disciples asked why they could not cast out demons in a child so Jesus told them they needed to fast to cast demons out. Jesus fasted for days and nights before choosing the 12 apostles. Moses also prayed 40 days and nights before God on mountain while he received 10 commandments. Bible says in Jonah 3:3-5 the whole city of Nineveh fasted to repent after Jonah directed by Yahweh God encountered whale belly. Jonah in Nineveh entered city to warn people saying, in 40 days, Nineveh will be destroyed!” The people of Nineveh believed God so proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth from king to animals.” The Ninevites believe God but drifted, needed stirring to activate faith in God. Acknowledging God on piece of paper to tick boxes as a Christian does not please God. Their true worship of God agrees in harmony with God’s Sovereign will. Ninevites realised they needed change immediately to stop destruction of God. True fasting action saved whole city of Nineveh who put on the sackcloth from greatest to least in Jonah 3:5.Verses 6-8 says, when the news reached the king of Nineveh he rose up from his throne took off his royal robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. He made a proclamation and published through Nineveh by decree of the king and nobles, saying, “Let no man or an animal, herd nor flock, taste anything; let them not feed, nor drink water; but be covered with sackcloth, both man and animal, and let them cry mightily to God. Ninevites declared fast as still done in a certain month at a time of year set aside for fasting to remember seeking Face of God to repent to ask forgiveness of sins. The purpose of fasting recorded in Bible reveals various reasons. The Ninevites responded to God’s message in a way pleasing to God, king humbled himself and proclaimed, all cry mightily to God. Yes, turn everyone from his evil way, from violence in their hands. Who knows if God will relent to turn away from HIS fierce anger so we might not perish as stated in Jonah 3:8-9. So the Ninevites confessed their wickedness, repented, turning away from evil. The Ninevites’s fast was genuine repentance and so God honoured and changed HIS mind and FORGAVE them. God saw the action of faith as they turned from their evil way. God relents of disaster HE said would do to them so did not destroy the people of Nineveh says Jonah 2:10. This fasting is kind God honours as sincere in line with the word of God. Esther’s proclaimed fast for 3 days saves the whole nation’s recognition of God’s the One True God celebration of Purim. Esther 4:16 in Bible states, “Go, gather all Jews found in Susa and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, if I perish, I perish.”This standard absolute Esther fast of no food or water for three days of duration maximum 40 days like Jesus fasted before beginning His public ministry. Moses fasted for 40 days and nights seeking the Face of God on top of mountain. Fasting is a natural consequence of situation in saddened, worried, burdened with sorrow so food is forgotten. When king Saul and sons were killed in battle king David tore his clothes and all the men who were with him. They mourned, wept and fasted until evening for Saul, for Jonathan his son, and for the people of Yahweh, for the house of Israel; because they fell by the sword in 2 Samuel 1:11-12. The fast is also to present a petition before God on someone else’s behalf if mourning. Psalm 35:13-14 says king David prayed, when others were sick, my clothing was sackcloth to afflict my soul with fasting. My prayer returned to my own bosom. I behaved myself as though friend or my brother. Fasting seeks right direction of God in time of crisis in 2 Chronicles 20 : 2-4. When Jehoshaphat was told, that “A great multitude is coming against him beyond the sea from Syria, in Hazazon Tamar En Gedi Jehoshaphat set himself to seek Yahweh God. He proclaimed fast throughout all Judah gathered together, to seek help from Yahweh, came out of all cities of Judah to seek Yahweh. Ezra, a priest after return to Jerusalem from captivity in Babylon, proclaimed a fast by river Ahava before our God, to seek a straight way for us, our little ones, and for all our substance. Was ashamed to ask king for band of soldiers, horsemen to help against enemy in the way. We spoke to the king, saying, “The hand of our God is on all those who seek God for good but HIS power, wrath is against all who forsake God. So fasted, begged God to hear us in Ezra 8:21-23. In Nehemiah 9:1-2 on 24th day of month, children of Israel assembled to fast with sackcloth, earth on them, stood, confessed sins and iniquities of fathers and so caused God’s anger to turn away from sinful acts and follow the right way pleasing God. God accepts fasting important to HIM by true faith fast by humble actions, so not just abstaining from food. Isaiah says on the day of fast the wicked find pleasure by exacting unfair labour, fast for strife, contention, strike by fist of wickedness, fast to make their voices heard on high. Such a fast God did not choose for man to afflict his soul, bow down his head so rushes to spread sackcloth, ashes, ritual unacceptable day to Yahweh God. So the fast God accepts is to release the bonds of wickedness, undo evil bands and let oppressed go free to break their yokes. To distribute bread to the hungry, and bring the poor cast out to your houses. When you see naked people cover him to hide the flesh. Then your light shall break forth as the morning and your healing shall spring forth speedily; and your righteousness shall go before you; the Glory of Yahweh shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call Yahweh and God will answer; you shall cry, and God will say, Here I am If you take away from the midst of you the yoke, putting forth of the finger, speaking wickedly; and if you draw out your soul to hungry people to satisfy afflicted soul your light shall rise in darkness and righteousness as the noonday says Isaiah 58:3-10. The Bible records fasting proclaimed by Jezebel to recruit false witnesses against Naboth to take away family’s vineyard. This type of fasting witchcraft used by people psychologically influences others to gang against them in hatred targeted by jealousy. May seem to get permissive will granted under durex but Yahweh God Almighty always pays them back at time they least expect God’s vengeance. Many fast to take other people’s spouses attacking or blaming failure of marriage on rival only to bear exact brunt later. After such take over bids realises what goes around comes around, boomerang. Again dominance of cause fast to pray to try to bend God’s will in their favour. Yet God makes it clear it is obedience to Sovereign God’s Will and His Son Jesus’ Kingdom first, then ALL OTHER THINGS will be added. Yet some prefer things gratifying lust asking God to bless defilement by sin. Those who point out truth of God’s words antagonized for not condoning sin. God wants personal deep relationship first before each of God’s Children before human desires of the flesh. Those bound in bondage to sin must fast and pray like Nineveh people. The endtime destruction coming upon Earth culminating in Armageddon can be averted so minimised by fasting and repentance. God warns unless people fast and pray seriously, the whole of humanity will be destroyed. All people must fast personally and cry to God for Mercy then join corporate prayer for all nations in Jesus Name. God says, day or night give HIM no rest until peace on earth is fully restored by God to say to all His creation everything is very good.