A Different Fast

“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please

and exploit all your workers.

4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,

and in striking each other with wicked fists.

You cannot fast as you do today

and expect your voice to be heard on high.

5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,

only a day for people to humble themselves?

Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed

and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?

Is that what you call a fast,

a day acceptable to the Lord?

6 “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 them,

and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,

and your healing will quickly appear;

then your righteousness will go before you,

and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;

you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

Isaiah 58:4-9

Here God lay’s out his complaint – they are fasting – but they still exploit their workers, they fight and quarrel and hit each other and at the same time they expect God to hear them.

God lays out the fast that He respects -stop injustice, let the oppressed go free, share your food with the hungry and provide shelter for those who need it, clothes to those who don’t have clothing.

What was to be the result of them not only fasting but changing their ways to please God?

God’s light would break forth like dawn, they would be healed and they would be filled with righteousness, God would protect them before and behind them.

They would call on the Lord and He would say “here am I”.

When we only say the right things in prayer, but live our own way it doesn’t work-the blessing of God doesn’t come.

When we let God have His way in our life, amazing things happen.

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