Zechariah 8 The leaders from Bethel had come to inquire regarding the fasts they had been keeping. Should we continue as we have in the past? God did not directly answer that question of them, but He did tell them what He required. He gave the same answer to Micah and later to James, which is “do good, love mercy and faithfulness and obey God.” James also added to care for the orphans and widows in their adversity.
Instead of directly answering their question, he probed their hearts and saw their hypocrisy. He asked them, “did you truly fast for me…and now are you not doing it for yourselves?” An outward ritual of fasting and keeping the traditions is not what God is looking for. Isaiah had prophesied correctly about their hypocrisy. “You honor God with your lips, [and your fasting,], but your heart is far from Him.”
But, when our heart is pure and righteous, we do that which God loves, and others take note! They wanted to know why God is blessing them. They wanted to know the secret of peace. They heard others saying, “let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”
Are others asking those questions of you about the gospel? Are you ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess?