Moses Knew How to Fast for Change
Moses’ key to leading God’s people was the time he spent alone with the Lord in fasting and prayer. It was important that Moses had a deep and meaningful connection with God. After all, he was chosen by God to lead the children of Israel out of captivity. Moses’ journey would not be an easy one as the release for the children of Israel to be set free would soon be recanted as Pharaoh realized what he had just done.
This is the beginning of the journey for the Israelites through the wilderness. As they made their way to the Red Sea, they felt empowered and free, although the victory would be short-lived. For as they turned around, the army of Pharaoh was hot on their heels, and they were surrounded on either side. But as in all our journeys with God, He was with them. Crossing the sea with confidence, the Spirit of God was their guide. However, this was just the first of many desperate encounters the children of Israel would have, for there was a vast wilderness in front of them.
God provided His presence for them with a cloud by day and a flame of fire by night, but they still resorted to grumbling and complaining. Although He sent daily manna and provided them with water along the way, along with many spiritual encounters, they still bickered. They are now in the wilderness, regretting their decision to leave Egypt. “Why should we be free in the wilderness when we could be in bondage in Egypt” they reasoned among themselves. At least we knew what to expect in Egypt.
Moses being their leader, knew he needed help from God. It was now time for Moses to see just why he was chosen. It was time for a mountaintop experience. Approaching the tip of Mt. Sinai, Moses would meet God face to face.
Deuteronomy 9:9-12 says:
9 When I went up into the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant which the Lord made with you, then I stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights. I neither ate bread nor drank water. 10 Then the Lord delivered to me two tablets of stone written with the finger of God, and on them were all the words which the Lord had spoken to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly. 11 And it came to pass, at the end of forty days and forty nights, that the Lord gave me the two tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant.
12 “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Arise, go down quickly from here, for your people whom you brought out of Egypt have acted corruptly; they have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them; they have made themselves a molded image.’
This would become what we know as the Moses Fast. A time when Moses abstained from food to hear the word of the Lord. There is no earthly food that can compare with the bread of heaven. After receiving the Ten Commandments from God, he was released to go down the mountain and share them with the Israelites. But as you may know, when Moses entered the camp, he found the people’s hearts had grown cold, and they were singing and dancing while worshiping foreign gods.
The very thing they had left Egypt for they had now re-created in the wilderness.
Moses responded to his humanity and acted out in his flesh by throwing the tablets on the ground in disbelief and disgust. This is such a good reminder of how quickly we can go from being in the presence of God to engaging in our flesh through anger and disappointment.
Now Moses had to learn a valuable lesson of humility. Back up the mountain he went for take two of the Ten Commandments.
Deuteronomy 10:1-5 says:
1“At that time the Lord said to me, ‘Hew for yourself two tablets of stone like the first and come up to Me on the mountain and make yourself an ark of wood. 2 And I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke; and you shall put them in the ark.’
3 “So I made an ark of acacia wood, hewed two tablets of stone like the first, and went up the mountain, having the two tablets in my hand. 4 And He wrote on the tablets according to the first writing, the Ten Commandments, which the Lord had spoken to you in the mountain from the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly; and the Lord gave them to me. 5 Then I turned and came down from the mountain and put the tablets in the ark which I had made; and there they are, just as the Lord commanded me.”
Once again fasting for forty days, Moses sat in the presence of God. This time going even deeper. Fasting will do that. It will take you deeper. For your desires will move from the things of this world to the things of God. Your cravings and pleasures are suppressed, denied, and controlled in exchange for a higher desire. That of breakthrough, freedom, connection, and intimacy with God.
Fasting is a spiritual discipline. It is a choice we make to suppress our flesh and wait on God. To pray and believe and exercise faith for the things we are asking God for. Fasting was never meant to be something we do with pride or obligation. It is always meant to be a spiritual discipline to take us deeper. A place of faith and focus taking us to a new spiritual realm with God.
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