Isaiah 58

by Eric Ryan, Pastor of Leadership Development

When is the last time you read Isaiah 58? I confess it had been a little while for me before this morning when I was watching a talk online, I was prompted to look closely at the chapter. 

Isaiah 58 has to be one of the most convicting chapters I have read in a while. Here, Isaiah is comparing the “seed” of God’s people with the wicked. This chapter focuses on some of the behavior of the wicked. Of the wicked He says;

  1. “They seek me daily and delight to know my ways”
  2. “They ask of me righteous judgements”
  3. “They delight to draw near to God”
  4. They ask, “Why have we fasted and see not?” and “Why have we humbled ourselves and you (God) take no knowledge of it?”

Some of these actually remind me of the goals in our current sermon series, Known. We want to build a desire in one another to know God! We want there to be a common motivation to draw near to Him! Why was God bothered by these desires? He goes on to describe the type of fasts he chooses (v.6):

  1. “To loose the bonds of wickedness”
  2. “To undo the straps of the yoke and let the oppressed go free”
  3. “To share bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house”
  4. “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;”

Do you see it? Do you see how important action is to the Lord? This passage weighed heavily on me, and I still need to process. There is a lot of rhetoric going around about “justice” right now. Members of our Wildwood family are all over the map on various aspects of what is being said. As we process, I ask that we would keep passages like Isaiah 58 in mind. Justice for the marginalized is very close to the heart of God. When the people were “delighting to draw near to Him” but had forgotten the poor, needy, and oppressed, He stopped listening to them. 

What do we do with passages like this? I’m going to share my process going forward. Take it or leave it. This morning I know the Spirit didn’t want me brushing past it so here is what I plan on doing:

  1. I’m going to share what I am seeing/learning with Julianna. How often does the Spirit convict us, and we don’t share it with our spouse? 
  2. I’m going to share this chapter with my children.
  3. Julianna and I are going to intentionally assess how we are doing as a family when it comes to loving and serving the poor and the marginalized among us. 

If this passage weighs on you as you read and study, I invite you to join us in doing the same.
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LaDonna Brown - July 18th, 2020 at 6:06am

Thank you and AMEN!

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