5Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD? 6Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter–when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 8Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. 9Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, 10and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like noonday. 11The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

Isaiah 58:5-11 (NIV)

There is very little that we can add to the conversation from Isaiah here because God is quite plain. Our fasting should not focus on ourselves. God is saying our fasting should 1) remind us of our duty to the oppressed and needy, and 2) spark action when we experience some of what they experience. Amos 5:24 (NKJV) says, “But let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.” Between Isaiah 58 and Amos 5, we can see that the heart of God is for justice to be done in the world.

Today’s challenge is simple: Fast and pray for the oppressed around the world–those who are forced to work like slaves, those who are actual slaves, those being trafficked for this or that reason; fast and pray for the hungry, the poor, the homeless, the orphan, the widow. As the Holy Spirit gives you leave and as God gives you the ability, help the oppressed and those in need, and, as Isaiah 58 says, “your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like noonday.”

Prayer Starter

Lord, today as we continue this corporate fast, give me a heart for the oppressed and needy in the world. Give me the ability and resources to help them as much as I can. Guide me in Your path to them and help me shine the light that is Your love and Your salvation. As you’ve given me grace and mercy, let me show grace and mercy to those who need it. Give me a desire to love everyone the way you love them. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Categories: Fast Blog

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