God's Chosen FastIsaiah 58:1-12
2018 - Non-Series Sermons
May 27, 2018
Fasting is abstaining from some good gift of God in order to say to Him, “This is how much more of you I want.” It is a precious gift we have been given during moments of life when we are brought face-to-face with our desperate need for God’s presence and intervention. Fasting is a way to discipline our hearts to rely wholly upon God for satisfaction and strength.
There is a type of fasting, however, that dispels the presence of God. Isaiah 58 describes this type of ineffective fast. It is a frightening passage. In it, the people of God are seeking God and delighting to know His will for their lives, and yet their cry is falling on deaf ears. The people of God had replaced righteous living with the ritual of fasting and the result was God withdrawing His presence. This passage teaches that religious ritual cannot replace righteous living.
The people thought God merely wanted the discipline of abstaining from food. So, they would fast, but then they would turn around and withhold compassion toward others in their daily lives. They ignored and even oppressed the afflicted around them and wondered why God was not answering their fast.
What is God’s chosen fast? God’s chosen fast is the display of righteousness through compassion toward people.The pursuit of God with love and compassion toward people is what draws the blessing of His presence upon our lives and circumstances. Replacing righteousness with ritual dispels God’s presence, but displaying righteousness with compassion draws His presence.
Compassion, Fasting, Righteousness