July 9th, 2015

Isaeah 58: 4 “Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist.
You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high.
5 “Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it for bowing one’s head like a reed
And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed?
Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the LORD?
6 “Is this not the fast which I choose,
To loosen the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the bands of the yoke,
And to let the oppressed go free
And break every yoke?

Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation that raises our level of intensity in seeking after the Lord. In those times, often a time of fasting as well as prayer is appropriate. Indeed, even the Lord Himself spoke of one demon which He was casting out, saying, “this kind only comes out by fasting and prayer.” However, we can lose focus when going through this process, becoming too involved with the fasting activity and less with the prayer aspects. Or, we could even be fasting for the wrong reason, and hopefully during our times of prayer the Lord will reveal this to us. Today’s verses caution us to not only fast and pray in the right way, but for the right reason, and the right heart.

Isaiah 58

Observances of Fasts

1 “Cry loudly, do not hold back;
Raise your voice like a trumpet,
And declare to My people their transgression
And to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 “Yet they seek Me day by day and delight to know My ways,
As a nation that has done righteousness
And has not forsaken the ordinance of their God.
They ask Me for just decisions,
They delight in the nearness of God.
3 ‘Why have we fasted and You do not see?
Why have we humbled ourselves and You do not notice?’
Behold, on the day of your fast you find your desire,
And drive hard all your workers.
4 “Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist.
You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high.
5 “Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it for bowing one’s head like a reed
And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed?
Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the LORD?
6 “Is this not the fast which I choose,
To loosen the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the bands of the yoke,
And to let the oppressed go free
And break every yoke?
7 “Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry
And bring the homeless poor into the house;
When you see the naked, to cover him;
And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
8 “Then your light will break out like the dawn,
And your recovery will speedily spring forth;
And your righteousness will go before you;
The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 “Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you remove the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness,
10 And if you give yourself to the hungry
And satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
Then your light will rise in darkness
And your gloom will become like midday.
11 “And the LORD will continually guide you,
And satisfy your desire in scorched places,
And give strength to your bones;
And you will be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
12 “Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins;
You will raise up the age-old foundations;
And you will be called the repairer of the breach,
The restorer of the streets in which to dwell.

Keeping the Sabbath

13 “If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot
From doing your own pleasure on My holy day,
And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable,
And honor it, desisting from your own ways,
From seeking your own pleasure
And speaking your own word,
14 Then you will take delight in the LORD,
And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

Isaiah 59

Separation from God

1 Behold, the LORD’S hand is not so short
That it cannot save;
Nor is His ear so dull
That it cannot hear.
2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,
And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.
3 For your hands are defiled with blood
And your fingers with iniquity;
Your lips have spoken falsehood,
Your tongue mutters wickedness.
4 No one sues righteously and no one pleads honestly.
They trust in confusion and speak lies;
They conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity.
5 They hatch adders’ eggs and weave the spider’s web;
He who eats of their eggs dies,
And from that which is crushed a snake breaks forth.
6 Their webs will not become clothing,
Nor will they cover themselves with their works;
Their works are works of iniquity,
And an act of violence is in their hands.
7 Their feet run to evil,
And they hasten to shed innocent blood;
Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity,
Devastation and destruction are in their highways.
8 They do not know the way of peace,
And there is no justice in their tracks;
They have made their paths crooked,
Whoever treads on them does not know peace.

A Confession of Wickedness

9 Therefore justice is far from us,
And righteousness does not overtake us;
We hope for light, but behold, darkness,
For brightness, but we walk in gloom.
10 We grope along the wall like blind men,
We grope like those who have no eyes;
We stumble at midday as in the twilight,
Among those who are vigorous we are like dead men.
11 All of us growl like bears,
And moan sadly like doves;
We hope for justice, but there is none,
For salvation, but it is far from us.
12 For our transgressions are multiplied before You,
And our sins testify against us;
For our transgressions are with us,
And we know our iniquities:
13 Transgressing and denying the LORD,
And turning away from our God,
Speaking oppression and revolt,
Conceiving in and uttering from the heart lying words.
14 Justice is turned back,
And righteousness stands far away;
For truth has stumbled in the street,
And uprightness cannot enter.
15 Yes, truth is lacking;
And he who turns aside from evil makes himself a prey.
Now the LORD saw,
And it was displeasing in His sight that there was no justice.
16 And He saw that there was no man,
And was astonished that there was no one to intercede;
Then His own arm brought salvation to Him,
And His righteousness upheld Him.
17 He put on righteousness like a breastplate,
And a helmet of salvation on His head;
And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing
And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle.
18 According to their deeds, so He will repay,
Wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies;
To the coastlands He will make recompense.
19 So they will fear the name of the LORD from the west
And His glory from the rising of the sun,
For He will come like a rushing stream
Which the wind of the LORD drives.
20 “A Redeemer will come to Zion,
And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” declares the LORD.

21“As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the LORD: “My Spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring’s offspring,” says the LORD, “from now and forever.”

Isaiah 60

A Glorified Zion

1 “Arise, shine; for your light has come,
And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
2 “For behold, darkness will cover the earth
And deep darkness the peoples;
But the LORD will rise upon you
And His glory will appear upon you.
3 “Nations will come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.
4 “Lift up your eyes round about and see;
They all gather together, they come to you.
Your sons will come from afar,
And your daughters will be carried in the arms.
5 “Then you will see and be radiant,
And your heart will thrill and rejoice;
Because the abundance of the sea will be turned to you,
The wealth of the nations will come to you.
6 “A multitude of camels will cover you,
The young camels of Midian and Ephah;
All those from Sheba will come;
They will bring gold and frankincense,
And will bear good news of the praises of the LORD.
7 “All the flocks of Kedar will be gathered together to you,
The rams of Nebaioth will minister to you;
They will go up with acceptance on My altar,
And I shall glorify My glorious house.
8 “Who are these who fly like a cloud
And like the doves to their lattices?
9 “Surely the coastlands will wait for Me;
And the ships of Tarshish will come first,
To bring your sons from afar,
Their silver and their gold with them,
For the name of the LORD your God,
And for the Holy One of Israel because He has glorified you.
10 “Foreigners will build up your walls,
And their kings will minister to you;
For in My wrath I struck you,
And in My favor I have had compassion on you.
11 “Your gates will be open continually;
They will not be closed day or night,
So that men may bring to you the wealth of the nations,
With their kings led in procession.
12 “For the nation and the kingdom which will not serve you will perish,
And the nations will be utterly ruined.
13 “The glory of Lebanon will come to you,
The juniper, the box tree and the cypress together,
To beautify the place of My sanctuary;
And I shall make the place of My feet glorious.
14 “The sons of those who afflicted you will come bowing to you,
And all those who despised you will bow themselves at the soles of your feet;
And they will call you the city of the LORD,
The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
15 “Whereas you have been forsaken and hated
With no one passing through,
I will make you an everlasting pride,
A joy from generation to generation.
16 “You will also suck the milk of nations
And suck the breast of kings;
Then you will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior
And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.
17 “Instead of bronze I will bring gold,
And instead of iron I will bring silver,
And instead of wood, bronze,
And instead of stones, iron.
And I will make peace your administrators
And righteousness your overseers.
18 “Violence will not be heard again in your land,
Nor devastation or destruction within your borders;
But you will call your walls salvation, and your gates praise.
19 “No longer will you have the sun for light by day,
Nor for brightness will the moon give you light;
But you will have the LORD for an everlasting light,
And your God for your glory.
20 “Your sun will no longer set,
Nor will your moon wane;
For you will have the LORD for an everlasting light,
And the days of your mourning will be over.
21 “Then all your people will be righteous;
They will possess the land forever,
The branch of My planting,
The work of My hands,
That I may be glorified.
22 “The smallest one will become a clan,
And the least one a mighty nation.
I, the LORD, will hasten it in its time.”

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Psalm 107:35 He changes a wilderness into a pool of water
And a dry land into springs of water;
36 And there He makes the hungry to dwell,
So that they may establish an inhabited city,
37 And sow fields and plant vineyards,
And gather a fruitful harvest.
38 Also He blesses them and they multiply greatly,
And He does not let their cattle decrease.
39 When they are diminished and bowed down
Through oppression, misery and sorrow,
40 He pours contempt upon princes
And makes them wander in a pathless waste.
41 But He sets the needy securely on high away from affliction,
And makes his families like a flock.
42 The upright see it and are glad;
But all unrighteousness shuts its mouth.
43 Who is wise? Let him give heed to these things,
And consider the lovingkindnesses of the LORD.

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About learning2walkdaily

In 1992, I met Jesus Christ. I'm still trying to learn to walk in His ways. Daily, I share a small nugget that I have gleaned from His Word, encouraging others to seek, explore, and discover all that He has in store for their earthly and eternal lives.
This entry was posted in faithfulness, fasting, prayer, quiet time, seeking God, the heart, trials, trusting God and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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