“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?
“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?
“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?
“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.
“Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” -Isaiah 58:5-11
This is a lot to take in. A huge call to justice. I’m not really sure where to start. I suppose I should start at the beginning. In the first verse, I kinda of feel like God would be yelling this at us in exasperation. The huge sacrifice that He gave us, and we’re only taking a day out of the year? I think I would be pretty upset too if I was in God’s shoes. (Does He have shoes?). If we want to truly honor God, we need to honor Him every day and fast multiple times. It should be reflected in our hearts too, not only on the outside.
The second verse is telling us that our “sacrifices” are pitiful and meaningless. God expects us to go out into the world and free all His people from slavery, religious governments, depression, starvation, and so much more. He wants us to give everything we have, for nothing we have is really our own. It’s all God’s because He was the one that gave it to us in the first place. Every blessing that we receive we should not only praise and worship Him in thanks, but also continue that blessing onto others. Whatever water that God pours into our glass should flow back out as if there was a hole in the bottom of the glass.
Then, once we start to give, we won’t be able to stop. When we feel like we’ve given it all, it says that we’ll call out to God and He’ll be there for us. If we give our all, God will let our light shine brighter than the sun. God will always be there for us and He wants us to give the living water to people all over the world. When we give to others, God gives to us.