I’ve recently been reading through a good bit of the old testament for a bible study I have been a part of this fall. We’ve been looking at many of the prophets and reading about the Babylonian exile. This past week, we were studying Zechariah and one of the cross references happened to be Isaiah 58. In light of all that has been going on this past week with the attacks on Paris and all the conversations about refugees, I found these verses very fitting. The beginning of the chapter deals with fasting and then continues on to talk about God’s desire for his people to be humble and to care for the poor and the oppressed. It saddens me to hear that many Christians are in support of closing borders to refugees seeking asylum. My prayer for this week is that Christians would remember the great command to love our neighbors and to care for widows, orphans, the poor, and the oppressed. May we trust in the Lord and not give into fear.
Isaiah 58: 6-14
Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, “Here I am.”
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday.
And the Lord will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.
And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to dwell in.
If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath,
from doing your pleasure on my holy day,
and call the Sabbath a delight
and the holy day of the Lord honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways,
or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly;
then you shall take delight in the Lord,
and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.