In Isaiah 58, Lord is exposing the shallow worship of His people. They are rebellious people, not following the Lord and are leading sinful life. Isaiah 58:1. Still they are asking why God is not seeing their fasting and not answering their prayers.58:3. At this point God is speaking to them through His servant prophet Isaiah.
A. Their present fasting
- One the day of fasting, you do as you please.58:3. (doing whatever you like.)
- exploiting all your workers. Isa.58:3.
- Your fasting ends in quarrelling and strife. Isa.58:4.
- Your fasting ends in striking each other with wicked fists.
With this kind of fasting, don’t expect your voice to be heard on high. Isa 58:4.
Only outward ritual without any inward transformation. Is this true in our fasting/ worship today?
B. What is the kind of fasting acceptable to the Lord? Isaiah 58:6
- To loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke. 58:6
- To set the oppressed free and break every yoke. 58:6,9.
- To share your food with the hungry. 58:7.
- To provide shelter to the poor wanderer. 58:7.
- To clothe the naked. 58:7.
- Not to turn away from our own flesh and blood. 58:7.
- Do away with pointing finger and malicious talk. 58:9.
- Spend yourself in behalf of the hungry. 58:10.
- Satisfy the needs of the oppressed.
C. Benefits / Blessing of True Fasting
(IF we obey the above, then)
- Our light will break forth like the dawn. 58:8,10.
- Our healing will quickly appear. 58:8.
- Our righteousness will go before us. 58:8.
- The glory of the Lord will be our rear gaurd. 58:8.
- The Lord will answer when we call. 58:9.
- The Lord will immediately answer our cry. 58:9.
- The Lord will guide us always. 58:11.
- The Lord will satisfy our needs. 58:11.
- The Lord will strengthen our form. 58:11
- We will be like a well watered garden. 58:11.
- We will be like a spring whose waters never fail. 58:11.
Are the above blessings happening in our life? If not, what could be the reason?
God is not interested in superficial spirituality / name sake religion and ritualistic fasting. Prayer and fasting of a person who live according to God’s Word is pleasing to God , He will answer his prayer and will bless him abundantly.
Rev. C.V. Abraham