Thursday

“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?” (v. 6)

Isaiah 58:1-12 Thursday 25 June 2015

Psalm: Psalm 31:1-24


Background

In today's passage there is a dramatic challenge concerningreligious observance in contrast to actual behaviour. The openingverse demands that the prophet speaks in response to the people'srebellion and their sin. They were endeavouring to follow God'sways - practising righteousness and delighting to draw near toGod.

However, they felt God was not noticing, and God's response ispretty devastating. Their religious observance, expressed by theircommitted fasting, was missing the point. It served their ownpurposes yet they oppressed their workers and even bickered amongstthemselves. They had missed the point entirely.

Religious observance, in the form of fasting, had merelyresulted in internal squabbling, lack of care of vulnerableworkers, displays of humility with sackcloth and ashes, and even afeeling of distance from God!

What God really wants is laid out in simple yet demanding terms:challenging injustice; overcoming oppression; feeding the hungry;housing the homeless; providing for the needs of the poor.

Then, the people will be freed up from their own oppressivebehaviour, their deeds will shine out, and they will feel God'sblessing.


To Ponder

  • How could you make sure that your behaviour matches what youthink God wants you to do?
  • Are there other things which you would add to the list of whatGod requires of you? What might they be?
Previous Page Wednesday
Next Page Friday