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To be near unto God - pagina 294

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ing is almost altogether abandoned. It is still our habit, as it was in the days of Hosea, to say: '•Our God, we Israel, know thee" (8:2). But when Scripture shows that the Knowledge of God is greatly advanced by prayer, and prayer by fasting, is there not something lacking, when we, who say that we know God, do not fast? The answer is given in Is. 58:6. In the days of Isaiah there was much fasting observed in Judah, but by his prophet Jehovah declared that he would not accept this kind of fasting. "Is it such a fast that I have chosen; a day for a man to afflict his soul? to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? "Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, when to deal thy bread to the hungry, thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy Hght break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily." This striking protest against dead formalism has justly aroused among us a sense of aversion to formal fasting. As a form, as a mere bodily exercise, and as an exhibition before the world, Indeed it can work fasting does not sanctify. profanation. Hence Jesus' warning in the Sermon on the Mount: "But thou, when thou fastest, be not as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance. but anoint thine head, and wash thy face, that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father, which is in secret; and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly." As strongly, however, as our blessed Lord denounces formal, outward fasting, he commends .

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Bekijk de hele uitgave van dinsdag 1 januari 1918

Abraham Kuyper Collection | 620 Pagina's

To be near unto God - pagina 294

Bekijk de hele uitgave van dinsdag 1 januari 1918

Abraham Kuyper Collection | 620 Pagina's

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