It is an Injustice
A Fast That Pleases God – Part 1
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 58:1-10
Key Verse: Isaiah 58:6-7
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter– when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
God’s people have always practiced fasting. Down through the ages a fast of any kind seemed to please God. We see total fast: no food or water. We see partial fast, which included drink and some foods. However, in Isaiah 58, God was very clear as He spoke to His people through His prophet Isaiah. A spiritual fast must never stand alone. Let’s look at Isaiah’s instruction on a fast that truly pleases God.
In Isaiah 58:5, God asks a question: “Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself?” If this is only what a fast does, provide a personal time for the individual, God calls that unacceptable. God continues in verse six to call for action: “to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke.”
Indeed, God is making it clear: fasting must lead us to take action in our lives to help hurting people around us. Personal pious is not a “stand alone” goal! It’s good to humble ourselves before the Lord as we fast, but God’s work in us is about God shining through us. His work is not “all” about us and our personal journey. Our journey with God must include people—people who need help, the hope we can offer in Jesus’ name! (Continued)
Father, I open my heart up to your instructions. I want to know what pleases you; You lead, I will follow. In Jesus’ name, amen.