( Cont’d. pt. 2)
4. The Battle Fast (Judges 20:26 -28 ESV) –
26Then all the people of Israel, the whole army, went up and came to(A) Bethel and wept. They sat there before the LORD and fasted that day until evening, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD. 27And the people of Israel inquired of the LORD(B) (for the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days, 28and(C) Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron,(D) ministered before it in those days), saying, “Shall we go out once more to battle against our brothers, the people of Benjamin, or shall we cease?” And the LORD said, “Go up, for tomorrow I will give them into your hand.” [Emphasis added]
This fast is the type that is required before you head into a major battle against your adversaries. It is usually a battle that is initiated on the basis of Justice and Recompense for evil actions perpertrated against what I call the “Innocents”. There are so many atrocities that are done against the innocents in this world that the evil doers who feel that they can get away with their actions for so long actually fuel the right conditions for God to prounounce JUDGMENT for their wickedness.
2 God is jealous, and the LORD avenges;
The LORD avenges and is furious.
The LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries,
And He reserves wrath for His enemies;
3 The LORD is slow to anger and great in power,
And will not at all acquit the wicked. [Emphasis added]
God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
When the judgment is too difficult for man to decide, I believe that there is a need for a Fast to seek God for direction on how to pronounce it because God is a Just Judge (Psalm 7:11) and therefore, He is the only one that can administer and bring forth divine Justice.
10 My defense is of God,
Who saves the upright in heart.
11 God is a just judge,
And God is angry with the wicked every day.
12 If he does not turn back,
He will sharpen His sword;
He bends His bow and makes it ready. [Emphasis added]
The Battle Fast is that type of fast that can bring forth the Lord to guide the people of God to victory against the atrocities of their Adversaries. An example of the battle Fast is found in the book of Judges concerning the battle of Gibeah. The battle of Gibeah was one of vengeance and recompense against the wicked men of the Benjamites.
There was a Levite who had been traveling with his Spouse (Concubine) and was looking for a place to stay in Gibeah in the land of Benjamin. He couldn’t find a place to stay until an old man he encountered, offered his house for shelter for the night. The evil men of the Tribe of Benjamin heard about the Levite staying at the old mans house and sought to have sex with him as a mob. The mob harassed the old man to give them the Levite man so that they could rape him (Judges 19:22), but the old man offered his very own virgin daughter and the Levite’s concubine as a replacement for their vile and wicked lusts. They ended up taking the Levite’s wife and raped her all night long (Judges 19:25). She returned to the house and died by the doorstep where she was discovered in the morning by her Levite husband (Judges 19:26-28). The Levite husband took her body on a donkey and left Gibeah and went home where he cut up his spouse into 12 pieces and sent her body parts all over Israel to testify to the evil wickedness of the evil men of the Benjamites (Judges 19:29-30).
When the Israelites heard of this wickedness they set up to go to war against the Evil men of Benjamin but they first sought the Lord before heading into battle. They did this by praying and fasting. When they fasted and prayed they received confirmation from the Lord to go into battle and the Lord assured the children of Israel victory over the Benjamites to whom the Lord had promised Justice for their wickedness (Judges 20:26-28).
They had suffered losses in their initial battle attempts but when they sought the Lord through prayer and fasting, they were assured victory.
1.) Vengeance is the Lords and He will repay (Deuteronomy 32:35; Romans 12:19; Hebrews 10:30) but everything is according to God’s Will. You have to seek His face when you are facing a huge battle up against an evil person or group of people in your life. Seek Justice through God. DO NOT take things into your own hands. You will suffer losses if you fight without divine wisdom.
2.) Fasting before a battle allows for you to receive clear instructions for effective strategies to assured victory in battle against such vile wickedness by allowing yourself to become sensitive in the Holy Spirit to respond to God’s timed responses and commands as exemplified in (Judges 20:28). With the help of the Holy Spirit, you will know what to do when the time calls for action.
27 So it was, when Ahab heard those words, that he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his body, and fasted and lay in sackcloth, and went about mourning. 28 And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 29 “See how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the calamity in his days. In the days of his son I will bring the calamity on his house.” [Emphasis added]
The Mercy fast is the type of Fast that is able to withhold the Righteous Judgment of the Lord upon an individual who has done evil in the Lords eyes as exemplified by Ahab. Ahab was an evil King married to his wicked wife Jezebel. Ahab coveted the vineyard owned by Naboth who had inherited that plot of land from his Father. Ahab wanted the herbs from that land for the purposes of Baal worship and Naboth refused to give up this vineyard. Ahab whined to his wife Jezebel about his so-called predicament and Jezebel in turn promised that she would help Ahab to get that plot of land (1 Kings 21:7). Jezebel had sent two of her servants to falsely accuse Naboth for blasphemy (1 Kings 21:13) in a crowd of witnesses. Naboth was carried away and stoned to death. Upon hearing the successful murder of Naboth from her hired hit-men, Jezebel notified Ahab that he could now take that vineyard that he had longed for and envied.
Elijah the Tishbite prophet was sent by God to pronounce a Judgment Curse on Jezebel and Ahab for the murder of Naboth (1 Kings 21: 19 – 24). When Elijah prophetically pronounced the judgment the Lord had against Ahab, Ahab responded regretfully by tearing his clothes and fasting for forgiveness before the Lord (1 Kings 21: 27). Ahab had humbled himself before the Lord in sincere contrition by fasting to seek the Lord’s Mercy and the Lord saw and spoke to Elijah informing him that He had lifted His Righteous judgment against Ahab and had decided to pass the judgment onto the next generation from Ahab’s line. Take note that the Judgment was NOT lifted off of Jezebel since she didn’t Fast and seek the Lords forgiveness. The Judgment concerning her was fulfilled in 2 Kings 9:30-37. Please understand that God is just and He can only give Grace to the Humble (James 4:6).
I believe that this is a Fast designated for those that practice lawlessness as a way of life and can only remove this deserved level of Righteous Indignation that the Lord will pour out on them through this Fast. Those that qualify for this Mercy Fast have to present themselves before God with humility and sincere remorse for their Sinful actions and wicked deeds. Remember that God resists the Proud and gives Grace to the Humble (Proverbs 3:34; James 4:6 & 1 Peter 5:5). It is a Fast that hopefully, no one in the Body of Christ will ever have to do and that is why I classify this Fast as a Fast of the Last Resort. It is an individualistic Fast that lifts the judgment off an individual for their own evil actions. Truly this is Food for thought. Upon reading this, it has increased my fear of the Lord.
I will continue my List in Part. 3 – Final