“…This is The Fast I Have Chosen…”

“…This is The Fast I Have Chosen…”

“‘Why have we fasted,
and you haven’t seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
and you haven’t known about it?’

Look, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure,
and you hard press all your laborers.
You fast only to quarrel
and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist.

Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice heard on high.

Is this the fast that I choose,
a day for a person to humble himself?
Is it to bow down his head like a reed,
and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?

Will you call this a fast, and a ‘day acceptable to YHWH’?

Isn’t this the fast that I’ve chosen:
to open up the handcuffs of wickedness,
to tear away the straps of the burdening-yoke,
to give the reins of freedom to those who have been crushed down,
and tear to pieces every burdening-yoke?

Is it not to divide up your food with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
that when you see the naked, you’ll cover him,
and that you won’t hide yourself from your own flesh-and-blood?

Then shall your light will break open like the dawn,
and your healing shall sprout up quickly;
your making-things-right will walk in front of you;
the majesty of YHWH will protect you from behind.

Then you will call out, and YHWH will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say, ‘I’m here.’”

If you take away the burdening-yoke from your midst,
the pointing of the finger,
and speaking wrong-doing,
if you offer yourself for the hungry
and fill to the full those who are afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday.
And YHWH 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 don’t quit.
And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the hole in the wall,
the restorer of streets where people can leave.”

(YHWH to His People, through Isaiah the Prophet
Isaiah 58.2–12 ESV translation edits and emphasis added)

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About the author

I’m a husband, father, and one of those friends who has a terrible habit of not returning phone calls.  I’m really just trying to figure out what it means to follow Jesus, and I enjoy meeting great people along the way and maybe having a chance to spend time talking about things deep and trivial.

View all articles by Jimmy Doyle