Zechariah 7:5 Why Do You Do It?

Pencil and question mark

Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted?’ Zechariah 7:5 

It is very common for people to do things for reasons that do not show up on the surface of their lives. Many people give a lot of money to different charities that appear to look like they are trying to help the poor or helpless, however, often the purpose is for a tax write-off, not out of love and true care.

This can also be seen in the work place. People work for a paycheck only, not as a service to others or for their employer. Then they do as little as possible to get that check, or they work hard, only to get a promotion.

God asks the people what was their real purpose in fasting over the previous seventy years while they were in captivity.

Believers can often be just like the world in reasons why they do things. It is common for some to do services in the church only for the reason to look good before God and others. They are trying to win points with God by doing certain things. Their hearts are far from God’s heart.

It is not only in believers doing things, but also in not doing some things. Some will not sin in certain ways, just to look good before God and others. Many will still do the sin in their heart or behind closed doors where they are not sin.

Actions like this are about pride and self. Every believer must ask himself why he is doing or not doing something. It must be determined if it is what God wants and if it is being done out of love for God and others.

Examine the things that you do or don’t do. Now ask yourself why you do or don’t do those things.

Your greatest motivation for doing or not doing something should be out of love for God. It should be because God has asked these things of you.

Your goal in life should be to live like Jesus did, not to look good or escape hell, but because of what Jesus has done for you. Do what you do out of gratefulness for the life Jesus has given you. Any other reason is selfish and is worthless before God.

I pray today that you will know what God desires of you; that you will love God with all of your heart; that you will do things out of love for God and others; and that you will love as Jesus loved. 

2 Samuel 18:33 Weeping For The Enemy

Bridge in a park

The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you–O Absalom, my son, my son!” 2 Samuel 18:33 

When an enemy dies, most people will rejoice. They want to see the enemy defeated and pay for what he has done wrong.

Very few people like their enemies and even fewer love their enemies. When the enemy has a major set-back in life or is destroyed, the majority of people are happy about it. The more damage that the enemy had done, the greater the people want the person to pay for it in death or pain and suffering.

David’s son, Absalom, had chosen to fight against David to gain the throne as king of Israel. David and his men had to flee, because Absalom had grown so powerful against David. Despite the problems Absalom had been giving David, he did not want any harm to come to him.

In the process of the battle, Absalom gets killed. When David hears about this, he weeps out loud. He even states that he wishes he would have died instead. David was showing great love for his enemy.

Both those in the world and those in the church will often rejoice at the death of an enemy. They have very little compassion for the enemy. The greater the crimes, the less the compassion.

Jesus was not like that. He wept over the loss of anyone, even the enemy. His love over came the anger against the enemy.

Believers should be just like David and Jesus in showing compassion even for the enemy. At a minimum, it could be seen that a dead enemy, is a person who is lost for eternity from God. They no longer have a chance to serve God and live for eternity.

Allow yourself to be filled with God’s great love, to the point that when an enemy dies or is destroyed, your heart breaks out of love and compassion for the person. You can rejoice at the destruction of spiritual forces, but people are not spiritual forces. People are lost children of God whom God loves and Jesus died on the cross for.

As a believer you are not to be against a person, but against the spirit behind the person. Show your love and compassion to everyone, including your enemies.

I pray today that you will know God’s love and compassion; that you will show God’s love and compassion to others; that you will pray to God for those who are your enemies; and that the world will see God’s love and compassion through you.

2 Samuel 1:12 Weeping Over Fallen Enemy

Man crying

They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the LORD and for the nation of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. 2 Samuel 1:12 

When an enemy falls, many people rejoice. They are glad to see that the enemy has fallen or been destroyed. Throughout history it is a common sight to see people rejoicing when a known enemy is killed or dies. They rejoice because now that person can no longer be a threat to them.

David’s greatest enemy was Saul, who was the king of Israel. Saul was set out to kill David at any cost. No matter where David would go, Saul tried to follow him with an army and destroy him. Later, when Saul was killed in a battle, David and his men wept and fasted in mourning for his death. David did not want to see King Saul killed. In fact, he killed the man who had chosen to kill King Saul.

While the world often rejoices at the death of an enemy, there have been many believers who have also rejoiced with them. They see the death as something very good.

Although the death of the enemy may mean the end of some suffering, it is also death of a person, a person who is lost for eternity. When a person dies without Christ, he is lost in his sins forever. There is no return. There are no more chances to become a believer.

Rejoicing over that death does not show God’s love or compassion at all. It shows the heart of the world, rejoicing over evil and being lost.

Every believer needs to have the heart of Jesus, who would weep over those who would do wrong to Him. God never rejoices over the destruction of an enemy. He sees each one as a lost child that can never return home.

Knowing and understanding the heart of God will strengthen you to show love to your enemies. Jesus said to love everyone, including the enemy. Rejoicing over their destruction or death is not showing His love, but the world’s hatred.

Allow God’s love for you and all people fill you up so that you may love everyone the same. When you see the destruction of an enemy, you will not rejoice, but weep, knowing how lost they are for all eternity.

Weep, don’t rejoice, over those who can never accept Jesus anymore.

I pray today that you will know God’s great love; that you will be filled with God’s love for all people; that your heart will break at the destruction of any person; and that your love will be a sign of God’s love to this world.