Why Fast Quiz

“Proclaim a day of fasting and seat Naboth in a prominent place among the people.”

  • 1 Kings 21:9b

He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows?

  • 2 Samuel 12:23

This quiz was inspired, in part, by our Sunday school class.  The last question in the quiz, a multiple part question, speaks of two people fasting and praying.  Since this was in the New Testament after Jesus had ascended, some people in the class said that they had been told that we should not fast, or at least, we do not have to fast.  This brought on a large discussion on the subject.  In researching, it seems that it would make a good Bible Study and not just a quiz.

I hope this works as a blend of Bible Study and quiz.

The Questions:

?Bible VerseBible Verse(s)Answer
1Who made the statement in the first Scripture above?  Why was Naboth ‘honored?’  
2Who fasted and wept and why? And why did he stop fasting?  
3In Nehemiah 9, what had just happened which was followed by those in Jerusalem fasting, and what did they fast in preparation to do?  
4For whom did David fast in Psalm 35?  
5In Esther 4, why does Mordecai call for the Jews to fast?  
6In Esther 9, why did the Jews fast again?  
7God tells the people that they have been fasting on the fifth and seventh months for 70 years, but not honoring Him in the process.  Which prophet delivered this message?  
8When Jesus was asked by John’s disciples why Jesus’ disciples did not fast like the Pharisees did, what was Jesus’ response?  
9How did Jesus say that we are to fast?  
10Who prayed and fasted over whom and where before then traveling to Perga and then to Attalia?  

Why fast?  There are Old Testament festivals that have an element of fasting in some of them.  Question 6 is an example.  But there are other reasons:

  • Question 1 speaks of honoring someone.
  • Questions 2 and 5 speak of making a passionate plea to God.
  • Question 3 speaks of preparing one’s heart before going to God with something.
  • Question 4 flips the narrative a bit.  The answer might be unexpected, but it is very instructive when we are faced with the same situation.
  • Question 7 hints that we are fasting to acknowledge God, regardless of the other motivations, but in this case, God is saying that they missed that part of the process.
  • Question 8 speaks of not fasting, but the corollary points to anticipation of God fulfilling His promises.
  • Question 9 is instructional and probably why others were talking about not fasting, yet Jesus states “When fasting…”
  • Question 10 is sort of the Christian model to encourage fasting, as question 7 hints, we are to fast and pray so that the Church is strengthened in the face of persecution, acknowledging that God is the author of all good things and the Creator of the universe.

Bible References:

?Bible VerseBible Verse(s)Answer
1Who made the statement in the first Scripture above?  Why was Naboth ‘honored?’1 Kings 21 
2Who fasted and wept and why? And why did he stop fasting?2 Samuel 12 
3In Nehemiah 9, what had just happened which was followed by those in Jerusalem fasting, and what did they fast in preparation to do?Nehemiah 8-9 
4For whom did David fast in Psalm 35?Psalm 35:11-13 
5In Esther 4, why does Mordecai call for the Jews to fast?Esther 3 
6In Esther 9, why did the Jews fast again?Esther 9:20-32 
7God tells the people that they have been fasting on the fifth and seventh months for 70 years, but not honoring Him in the process.  Which prophet delivered this messageChapter and verse: 7:1 
8When Jesus was asked by John’s disciples why Jesus’ disciples did not fast like the Pharisees did, what was Jesus’ response?Mark 2:18-21 
9How did Jesus say that we are to fast?Matthew 6:16 
10Who prayed and fasted over whom and where before then traveling to Perga and then to Attalia?Acts 14:21-25 

The confusion during the Sunday school class discussion was probably started by ex-Catholics who had left the Catholic church.  They were now no longer required to follow the Catholic rules.  So, when someone asks them about fasting, they say that we are not “supposed” to do that anymore, when they meant that they did not have to do so.  And that was what was passed on to me when someone read the Scripture for Question 10.

On the part of these people who were celebrating the freedom from these added rules that are not biblical, they lost the meaning of what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount.  When we fast, we do not make a big show of it.  We fast in private so that only God knows, for if we fast publicly, with a big show of the ashes and such, we have already received our reward.  But in these days, the ashes may lead to backlash from atheists stating that the ashes on the forehead “offend” them.

As for the Catholic readers, you may fast in the method that your denomination prescribes, but do not make a mockery of fasting.  My wife, while she was still Catholic, had a partner at work who fasted by drinking Pepsi during Lent instead of Coca-Cola.  She said that was not fasting, and his reply was that it counted because he hated Pepsi.  I have heard of many Catholics who said that they gave up something for Lent, but when you knew them, you realized they never ate or drank what it was that they announced that they had “given up.”  Thus, they took credit for fasting when they never did.

Then there was the bully at a drive-thru fast-food restaurant in SW Pennsylvania.  One of the shift managers, on his day off, ordered a huge burger on Friday at the drive-thru window during Lent.  The order taker said that he would have a fish sandwich.  An argument ensued.  “It’s Friday!  You will eat fish!!!”  With the reply, “But I am not Catholic!!!!”  And then the order taker’s reply “But I am going to save your soul!!!”  He got his huge burger … eventually.  He is now a youth pastor at a huge non-denominational church.  And even without the fish sandwich on that fateful Friday.

But after writing this quiz, I went through the various reasons for fasting with my wife, oddly as we went out to get something to eat, and she agrees with me on the last question.  With the elders and pastors (which some denominations give a special elder designation), there should be fasting as done in Question 10.  We should acknowledge before God that God has appointed these church leaders.  When we get that straight, maybe the church leaders will perform their tasks in a reverent and humble manner, and with every decision that they make, they will go to God and seek His guidance rather than thinking they already know everything – or they would not have been selected – thus shutting off all guidance from God and doing it on their own power.  Oops, there may be some elders out there that do it the right way.  For you, you probably know others that fit this description.

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The Answers:

?Bible VerseBible Verse(s)Answer
1Who made the statement in the first Scripture above?  Why was Naboth ‘honored?’1 Kings 21Jezebel made the statement so that people could claim that Naboth had cursed God and king.  Naboth was stoned, and Jezebel’s husband took over Naboth’s vineyard that he had coveted.
2Who fasted and wept and why and why did he stop fasting?2 Samuel 12David wept for the dying son of Bathsheba, but once the child died, David celebrated for he would some day be reunited with his son in heaven.
3In Nehemiah 9, what had just happened which was followed by those in Jerusalem fasting, and what did they fast in preparation to do?Nehemiah 8-9Ezra had just finished reading the Law to the people, and the people fasted in preparation of confessing their sins before the Lord.
4For whom did David fast in Psalm 35?Psalm 35:11-13Ruthless witnesses who spoke against David
5In Esther 4, why does Mordecai call for the Jews to fast?Esther 3-4Haman created a plot to have all Jews killed.
6In Esther 9, why did the Jews fast again?Esther 9:20-32The establishment of Purim, the celebration of being saved from annihilation.
7God tells the people that they have been fasting on the fifth and seventh months for 70 years, but not honoring Him in the process.  Which prophet delivered this messageChapter and verse: 7:1Zechariah
8When Jesus was asked by John’s disciples why Jesus’ disciples did not fast like the Pharisees did, what was Jesus’ response?Mark 2:18-21The guests of the bridegroom do not fast while with the bridegroom.
9How did Jesus say that we are to fast?Matthew 6:16“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting.”
10Who prayed and fasted over whom and where before then traveling to Perga and then to Attalia?Acts 14:21-25Paul and Barnabas fasted over the appointed elders in Lystra, Iconium, and Pisidian Antioch.  This is after Paul was stoned in Lystra when people from Iconium and Antioch stirred the crowd.

And regardless of how you did, let’s a 5 and a half minutevideo by Charles Stanley in answering the question: Does fasting help?  (in reference to fasting and praying)

When you simply search for fasting, we get tons of hour-long videos on losing weight.  To find out about fasting as mentioned in the Bible, search for praying and fasting.  But I thought that fast music might be interesting.  Here is a song by Mean Mary.  When she mentions that the Iron Horse has a longer stride, it sounds like the railroad locomotive is picking up steam, but watch to the end.  Mean Mary’s banjo picks up even more steam in, Iron Horse.

And I liked that “fast” song by Mean Mary so much.  Here is another that is an instrumental and even faster, Blazin’.

But maybe we are moving too fast.  What do Simon and Garfunkel say?  “Slow down, you move too fast,” Feelin’ Groovy.

But then just slowing down is not what prayer and fasting is all about.  Prayer and fasting is about slowing down, changing the pace of our world so that we can focus of God.  Here is a song by Johnathan Ogden, Slow Down.

And if you need a laugh, especially if you are getting older and you have no choice other than slowing down.  Tim Hawkins asks the question of what will happen if the music stars changed their songs to match their advancing age?

If you like these Saturday morning Bible quizzes, but you think you missed a few, you can use this LINK. I have set up a page off the home page for links to these Saturday morning posts. I will continue to modify the page as I add more.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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