Isaiah 58 is a very rich and plentiful chapter to chew on and I have only skimmed the service in part’s 1 and 2 and I’m afraid it will be the same for this final part 3. But what’s so interesting is where we will pick up for today. We ended with verse 9 but only up to part a and I would like to begin with part b. This portion of scripture according to my bible says that the yoke referred to in this passage is in reference to all forms of political, economic, and social injustice. I love how God’s word is so timely. It’s living and active and just as relevant today as it was then. Let’s read it.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
12Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
Isn’t that amazing? Reading it in the context in which it was written gives great wisdom for our current condition in the USA. It’s so self explanatory that it doesn’t need expounding. If we really wanted a blessed abundant life the recipe is right here. But the evidence is all around us that we have as a nation not lived up to this. I know we have done many good things but this recipe of not pointing our fingers and speaking maliciously is way of kilter and if we would correct it it would certainly point us in the right direction. There are always consequences for not doing it God’s way. But that’s why I love the If-then’s here. There is always a remedy. There’s always a cure. Let’s continue reading.
13“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14then you will find your joy in the Lord,
and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
The mouth of the Lord has spoken.
True fulfillment and joy are ours for the receiving if we would only honor and obey the voice of the Lord. We can be very rebellious and say we don’t like being told what to do but the consequences will begin to heap up. However the opposite is also true. If we will humble ourselves and honor the only one who deserves our praise, all the joy and victory we need is in His hand. Yes, it’s our choice but I say today choose wisely. Your joy depends on it.