‘Why do we fast, but you do not see? Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?’ Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day, and oppress all your workers.” vs. 3
In this verse, the prophet imagines a brief dialogue between worshippers and the Lord. The people are wondering why good things aren’t happening since they’ve been following the rituals of worship so faithfully. They’ve expected the Lord to be pleased with their precise attention to the details of the liturgy. The Lord’s response to their complaint is scathing. God is no fool…God knows that everything they’ve been doing has been in their own self-interest. And they’re the fools if they really believe that God actually cares about their pious posturing and fasting. If they want to do God’s will they should give assistance to the workers they’ve been so busy oppressing. Through the centuries, these words from Isaiah 58 have continued to be a blessing to the people of God. In every age they have reminded those who operate businesses or companies, that if they really want to please God they need to be looking to the needs of the poor and not building wealth for themselves. We live in a time when such notions are ridiculed and at best–ignored. It seems that most of the rich are only interested in protecting what they have and figuring out how to get more. Thank God for those few who understand God’s bottom line and who have chosen to use their wealth to lift up the oppressed.
Thought for the Day: What might cause billionaires to give away their wealth?