Isaiah 58:6-7 (HCSB)

Isn’t the fast I choose:
To break the chains of wickedness,
to untie the ropes of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free,
and to tear off every yoke?
 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
to bring the poor and homeless into your house,
to clothe the naked when you see him,
and not to ignore your own flesh and blood?

     God’s people were fasting, but it didn’t seem to do any good.  These verses are part of God’s response.  Rather than an outward fast, God calls them to the day-to-day obedience of faith. This obedience means having God’s heart of compassion on the homeless, sharing our bread with the hungry, and not ignoring our own flesh and blood as apparently they were.
     All of this seems easy, until one actually does it.  We don’t obey for the reward we get from the people to whom we minister.  Very often they are thankless.  God doesn’t call us to serve only those who are grateful.  He does call us to minister to physical needs wherever we find them.
     This is the “fast” that God wants here.
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