Chapter 03



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(James 1:21,22)  Wherefore lay apart [i.e. abstain from] all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

(Isa 58:1,2)  Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression [sin], and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as [if they were] a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God [i.e. they are a nation of hypocrites]: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.


(Isa 58:3-5)  Wherefore have we fasted [to cover over (the mouth)], say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast [when you should be in sorrow for your sins] ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours [and you work the full amount of your daily labor, instead of stopping all work]. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD [“because it is focused on self-righteousness and not on justice for others” The Nelson Study Bible]?

1.       Harper’s Bible Dictionary: fasting = abstinence from food, a rigor undertaken to evoke the favor of God, to ward off evil, to chasten the soul, or to discipline oneself in time of stress. It was practiced both corporately and individually throughout Bible times. During fasting, prescribed or voluntary, no work was done, sackcloth and ashes were often used, and garments were rent, although prophets like Joel (2:13) and Isaiah (ch. 58) stressed spiritual rather than external disciplines.

2.       (Joel 2:12,13)  Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart [spiritual], and not your garments [physical], and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

3.       (John 4:23)  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

4.       afflict = Heb: [through the idea of looking down or browbeating]; to depress:--abase self, afflict self, chasten self, deal hardly with, humble self, hurt, submit self, weaken [the natural man - soul].


(Isa 58:6-8)  Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke [i.e. social oppression]? Is it not to deal [give] thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward [rear guard].

1.       The Full Life Study Bible: “The fast that I have chosen.” The fast that God approves is one accompanied by love for Him and genuine concern for those who are oppressed. 

2.       light = Heb: illumination (in every sense, including lightning, happiness, etc.):--bright, clear, + day, light (-ning), morning, sun.

3.       (Prov 3:7,8)  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

4.       (Prov 4:20-22)  My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.  


(Isa 58:9-11)  Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke [of Satan, i.e. the yokes of his oppressions], the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity [“and every form of false, harsh, unjust, and wicked speaking” Amplified Bible]; And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day: And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

1.       (Gen 3:11-13)  And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said [pointing the accusatory finger at], The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said [pointing the accusatory finger at], The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.


(Isa 58:12-14)  And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach [break: gap], The restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

1.       (Ezek 22:30)  And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

2.       (Job 1:9,10)  Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

3.       hedge = Heb: to entwine, i.e. shut in (for formation, protection, and restraint):--fence [associations: a cocoon, ministering angels, the Bible; all three of which represent the Word of God].


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