Many people seek God and desire to receive His help. But at the same time they do what they want. Many mistreat other people.
What does God think about this?
He actually addresses this in the Book of Isaiah the prophet in Chapter 58. God lays out the message in a very clear manner.
Lets take a look.
Isaiah 58 from the New American Standard Version
“Cry loudly, do not hold back;
Raise your voice like a trumpet,
And declare to My people their transgression
And to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 “Yet they seek Me day by day and delight to know My ways,
As a nation that has done righteousness
And has not forsaken the ordinance of their God.
They ask Me for just decisions,
They delight in the nearness of God.
3 ‘Why have we fasted and You do not see?
Why have we humbled ourselves and You do not notice?’
Behold, on the day of your fast you find your desire,
And drive hard all your workers.
4 “Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist.
You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high.
5 “Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it for bowing one’s head like a reed
And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed?
Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the Lord?
6 “Is this not the fast which I choose,
To loosen the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the bands of the yoke,
And to let the oppressed go free
And break every yoke?
7 “Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry
And bring the homeless poor into the house;
When you see the naked, to cover him;
And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
8 “Then your light will break out like the dawn,
And your recovery will speedily spring forth;
And your righteousness will go before you;
The glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
9 “Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you remove the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness,
10 And if you give yourself to the hungry
And satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
Then your light will rise in darkness
And your gloom will become like midday.
11 “And the Lord will continually guide you,
And satisfy your desire in scorched places,
And give strength to your bones;
And you will be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
12 “Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins;
You will raise up the age-old foundations;
And you will be called the repairer of the breach,
The restorer of the streets in which to dwell.
13 “If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, And honor it, desisting from your own ways, From seeking your own pleasure And speaking your own word,
14 Then you will take delight in the Lord,
And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
As you read this text, you quickly learn that the people of God were seeking His help. But at the same time many of them were most likely:
- Driving Hard their Workers
- Living in Contention and Strife
- Find their Desire
God makes it clear that this IS NOT how we are to fast and seek Him.
He seeks our Heart. His fast includes the following:
- To loosen the bonds of wickedness
- Let the oppressed go free
- Undo the bands of the yoke
- Break every yoke.
He goes on to urge us to “divide your bread with the hungry” and to “bring the homeless poor into the house”
What an amazing and compassionate God we serve!
If we obey Him on this, He promises that our light will break out like the dawn.
Do you want your light to shine? Learn His heart through Isaiah 58.
He goes onto plead with all of us to obey Him on this. That if we listen and not turn a deaf ear, “Then your light will rise in the darkness” and “And the Lord will continually guide you,…”
May our God lead you forever!