“No, this is the kind of fast I want: I want you to remove the sinful chains, to tear away the ropes of the burdensome yoke, to set free the oppressed, and to break every burdensome yoke. I want you to share your food with the hungry and to provide shelter for homeless, oppressed people.
“When you see someone naked, clothe them! Don’t turn your back on your own flesh and blood. Then your light will shine like the sunrise; Your restoration will quickly arrive; Your godly behavior will go before you, and the Lord’s splendor will be your rear guard. Then you will call out, and the Lord will respond; You will cry out, and he will reply, ‘Here I am.’
“You must remove the burdensome yoke from among you and stop pointing fingers and speaking sinfully. You must actively help the hungry and feed the oppressed. Then your light will dispel the darkness, and your darkness will be transformed into noonday.
“The Lord will continually lead you; He will feed you even in parched regions. He will give you renewed strength, and you will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring that continually produces water. Your perpetual ruins will be rebuilt; You will reestablish the ancient foundations. You will be called, ‘The one who repairs broken walls, the one who makes the streets inhabitable again.’
“You must observe the Sabbath rather than doing anything you please on my holy day. You must look forward to the Sabbath and treat the Lord’s holy day with respect. You must treat it with respect by refraining from your normal activities, and by refraining from your selfish pursuits and from making business deals. Then you will find joy in your relationship to the Lord, and I will give you great prosperity, and cause crops to grow on the land I gave to your ancestor Jacob.
“Know for certain that the Lord has spoken.”
—Isa. 58:6-14 (NET)
Prayer + Reflection
- As we are fasting, let us evaluate our fasting practice in light of today’s Scripture.
- Pray for insight into ways your church can fulfill Isaiah 58 in your community.
- Ask God to inspire partnerships among the body of Christ in every community.