Summary: What the season of Lent is all about

Weekend Message/Devotion

March 10, 2019

Isaiah 58

LENT – A Season of Fasting

Can you find anything in the Holy Scriptures that refer to LENT as a prescribed order of holy days or platform for observance? I find the word “lent” seven times in the bible (Exodus 12:38, Deuteronomy 23:19, 1 Samuel 1:28, 2:20, Jeremiah 15:10) each refers to the past tense of to lend.

Now the words Fast, Fasted and Fasting are more prevalent in the bible. I find the word “Fast” mentioned eighty times; “Fasted:” fifteen times; and “Fasting” mentioned twenty-one times. Among the meanings given in

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible are 1) cover the mouth – [one surely cannot put foodstuffs in a covered mouth], 2) withhold [that lends more to our understanding of fasting], 3) atonement [not to make light of it], but if sacrificing animals for atonement didn’t really accomplish its purpose, why would one think that fasting would? 4) abstinence – [interesting to me, is that this definition is the one attributed to fasting when spoken of by Jesus.] Abstinence does mean doing or going without.

Fasting that Pleases God (Isaiah 58)

“Cry aloud, spare not;

Lift up your voice like a trumpet;

Tell My people their transgression,

And the house of Jacob their sins.

2 Yet they seek Me daily,

And delight to know My ways,

As a nation that did righteousness,

And did not forsake the ordinance of their God.

They ask of Me the ordinances of justice;

They take delight in approaching God.

3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen?

Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’

“In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure,

And exploit all your laborers.

4 Indeed you fast for strife and debate,

And to strike with the fist of wickedness.

You will not fast as you do this day,

To make your voice heard on high.

5 Is it a fast that I have chosen,

A day for a man to afflict his soul?

Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush,

And to spread out sackcloth and ashes?

Would you call this a fast,

And an acceptable day to the LORD?

6 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen:

To loose the bonds of wickedness,

To undo the [c]heavy burdens,

To let the oppressed go free,

And that you break every yoke?

7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,

And that you bring to your house the poor who are[d]cast out;

When you see the naked, that you cover him,

And not hide yourself from your own flesh?

8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning,

Your healing shall spring forth speedily,

And your righteousness shall go before you;

The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.

9 Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;

You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’

“If you take away the yoke from your midst,

The [e]pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,

10 If you extend your soul to the hungry

And satisfy the afflicted soul,

Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,

And your [f]darkness shall be as the noonday.

11 The LORD will guide you continually,

And satisfy your soul in drought,

And strengthen your bones;

You shall be like a watered garden,

And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

12 Those from among you

Shall build the old waste places;

You shall raise up the foundations of many generations;

And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach,

The Restorer of [g]Streets to Dwell In.

13 “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,

From doing your pleasure on My holy day,

And call the Sabbath a delight,

The holy day of the LORD honorable,

And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways,

Nor finding your own pleasure,

Nor speaking your own words,

14 Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD;

And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,

And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.

The mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

“Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” Joel 2:12

The Lenten Observance has always meant to be a time of repentance, self-examination, and self-denial. The original intent was to prepare mentally and spiritually for Easter. Fasting is certainly biblical. Observance of Lent is not biblical and was instituted (as far as my research can determine) in the late first or early second century. Originally, the observance was for a matter of a few days not weeks.

The 40 days of fasting in observance of Lent derived from the Council of Nicea sometime around 300 to 330 A.D. The 40 days is significant of the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert before beginning His ministry.

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Browse All Media

Related Media

Holy Living
Preaching Slide
Preaching Slide
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion