dated 31 Jan 2009
I am a Bible-believing Christian and I know that the most important thing about my religion is having a living and progressive relationship with my God, that is, "walking" with Him daily as Enoch walked with His God. But I also know that my love and faith in God expressed in this daily walk is of little essence if that love is not extended to others. As the Word says, "Love your neighbor as yourself" and "We love because He first loved us."
Whenever we are faced with the challenge of need we often wonder how we should pray and help. Whether we are praying for an ailment in our own bodies, or that of a friend or loved one, or praying for a marriage breaking down, a child going wayward, a friend facing poverty and despair, or a nation facing calamities and / or political upheavals, and / or exploding population ensnared in poverty and want of opportunity, I am reminded of this passage that holds so much wisdom and truth for answers, healing, restoration and triumph for such situations. Though so easy to preach, this passage can be so difficult to practice. But as we ask for supernatural help from God, all things are possible with Him. As we walk with our Heavenly Father, we CAN walk the talk.
True Fasting1 "Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
and to the house of Jacob their sins.
they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
and seem eager for God to come near them.
'and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
and you have not noticed?'
"Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
and exploit all your workers.
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.
only a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed
and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD ?
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
"If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
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.
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
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,
and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob."
The mouth of the LORD has spoken.