How are you guys doing on Isaiah 58?
I have the first 4 verses down. It's HARD! Harder than I thought.
Let's talk about those first verses. . . shall we?
I think there is great challenge in processing the first set. Initially when you read it, there is a call to judgement. "proclaim to my people their rebellion" wow. . now there is something my flesh could get on board with! However, we must keep reading and find OURSELVES in this list of sins. If the Lord is listing sins with the precurser that it is pure rebellion "as if they are a nation that does what is right" man that should make me stop. Wait, am I a person who does what is right? Do I call on the Lord and seek to draw near to Him? If so. . .do those other verses apply to me too? I certainly WANT to be a people who seem eager for God to draw near to them. . but while pleasing HIM! Here's where we check ourselves
"For in your day of fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. Your fasting ends in quarrelling and strife and in striking each other with wicked fists"
Ok, so you may not fast reguarly. . or have fist fights regularly =) But, that doesn't mean this doesn't apply to us.
Fasting was a spiritual practice. . .well, apparently it appeared spiritual but hadn't reached their hearts.
How can we get that into our lives? How about "For in the day of your (going to church / small group/ leading worship / teaching / etc) you do as you please" OUCH. How many Sundays end in arguing at your house? Your "fasting ends in quarrelling and strife" I bet they struggled, like I do at times in keeping their focus on the Lord.
Lord change us. Use your word to penetrate our hearts. "Lord, you search my heart and you know me. You test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting" (ps 139:23-24).
PS I'm editing the post below with what necklaces are still available! We sold 15 yesterday!