Wow. Fasting, that is, serious prayer rather than eating throughout the day and at mealtime, perhaps sunrise to sundown, etc. is a less-than often accomplished spiritual endeavor among most Christians. I would posit core values of Isaiah 58 seems clearly accenting getting eyes off of self, focused on God and others -and finally to do something more than not eat and just chat with the Father.
Most who follow Jesus understand this is about taking that time to intensely listen and talk to God in prayer and then to walk out in the practical exactly what is being said here… which is… what?
Let me break it down as best I see it at present:
And if you give yourself to the hungry
GK- Oh oh… social gospel? Not. Or yes, depending on how you look at it. Simply (!) a COMMAND of God what fasting and prayer should include and precisely engaging with hurting folks to do so… is GOD’S CALL TO ALL WHO LOVE AND FOLLOW HIM. Feed those in need of food. Give yourself, not only sandwiches and coffee.
And satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
GK- So you helped them to eat. Are there other needs, desires that you can in good conscience help to meet?
Then your light will rise in darkness
GK- I know, sounds like reaping what you sow, maybe even “works-based righteousness…” but I didn’t write this and expect the Holy Spirit indeed inspired Isaiah to tell folks this is what God does in the lives of those who proclaim family hood with the true God. It does come back to you, but He and they are the focus, not you. Read 1 John re. “light”.
And your gloom will become like midday.
GK- As I have often said, best personal therapy is focusing on and serving others, not big ME. It is one of the finest helps to depression and emotional pain that I know of. In love get busy doing the small you can for others in the Name of Jesus.
And the LORD will continually guide you,
GK- Wow. Just hey, think about this!! Clarity of purpose and vision comes as we do what?
And satisfy your desire in scorched places,
GK- Provision, Jehovah Jireh right in the middle of others bumming out you have a sense of relationship and fullness from the Spirit. And sure, little God-kisses that you know He is bringing to you just because of His love and your faithfulness to Him and serving others.
And give strength to your bones;
GK- Nice. Those that wait upon the Lord… I read that somewhere…
And you will be like a watered garden,
GK- Indeed, the beauty of a disciple is the fruit God grows as a result of relationship, pruning and a listening ear is all part of it. HEAR Oh Israel, and be not a forgetful hearer but doer of His Word. The widow, the orphan , the prisoner, the poor, the outcast… yes, clearly the garden (you and I) are well-watered AS we obey the loving Spirit in His flowing through us to serve others in love. MORE blessed to give than receive.
And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
GK- Spring-fed pools for drinking, swimming, wow… yes, and do not fail? Wow. Eternal fruit in what we do, not wood, hay, stubble but gold, silver, precious stone stuff! Yes.
Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins;
GK- Societies and cultures are trashed world-wide for lack of love lived out in faith. How to re-build, how might we turn minds and hearts toward the city of Love and Faith? Backsliders brought ruin. Half-committed peeps were more than half the reason the place went “down the tubes”.
You will raise up the age-old foundations;
GK- That is, the foundational matters as pertain to God, His Word and ways. The house built on The ROCK Himself.
And you will be called the repairer of the breach,
GK- Breach in perhaps two walls, that of relationship to God and people, and that of the local city, congregation and God whom they may have largely forsaken.
The restorer of the streets in which to dwell.
GK- Actual geographical city/town, place, and may I suggest walking in “the way of the LORD”.
My question in light of all this is simply: do the positive things here reflect who you and I and our local congregation actually -are-?
Fasting indeed. God help us!
As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn