How to Honor God
1The Lord says, “Shout out loud. Don’t hold back.
Shout out loud like a trumpet.
Tell my people what they have done against their God;
tell the family of Jacob about their sins.
2They still come every day looking for me
and want to learn my ways.
They act just like a nation that does what is right,
that obeys the commands of its God.
They ask me to judge them fairly.
They want God to be near them.
3They say, ‘To honor you we had special days when we fasted,
but you didn’t see.
We humbled ourselves to honor you,
but you didn’t notice.’ ”
But the Lord says, “You do what pleases yourselves on these special days,
and you are unfair to your workers.
4On these special days when you fast, you argue and fight
and hit each other with your fists.
You cannot do these things as you do now
and believe your prayers are heard in heaven.
5This kind of special day is not what I want.
This is not the way I want people to be sorry for what they have done.
I don’t want people just to bow their heads like a plant
and wear rough cloth and lie in ashes to show their sadness.
This is what you do on your special days when you fast,
but do you think this is what the Lord wants?
6“I will tell you the kind of fast I want:
Free the people you have put in prison unfairly
and undo their chains.
Free those to whom you are unfair
and stop their hard labor.
7Share your food with the hungry
and bring poor, homeless people into your own homes.
When you see someone who has no clothes, give him yours,
and don’t refuse to help your own relatives.
8Then your light will shine like the dawn,
and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your God will walk before you,
and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.
9Then you will call out, and the Lord will answer.
You will cry out, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
“If you stop making trouble for others,
if you stop using cruel words and pointing your finger at others,
10if you feed those who are hungry
and take care of the needs of those who are troubled,
then your light will shine in the darkness,
and you will be bright like sunshine at noon.
11The Lord will always lead you.
He will satisfy your needs in dry lands
and give strength to your bones.
You will be like a garden that has much water,
like a spring that never runs dry.
12Your people will rebuild the old cities that are now in ruins;
you will rebuild their foundations.
You will be known for repairing the broken places
and for rebuilding the roads and houses.
13“You must obey God’s law about the Sabbath
and not do what pleases yourselves on that holy day.
You should call the Sabbath a joyful day
and honor it as the Lord’s holy day.
You should honor it by not doing whatever you please
nor saying whatever you please on that day.
14Then you will find joy in the Lord,
and I will carry you to the high places above the earth.
I will let you eat the crops of the land your ancestor Jacob had.”
The Lord has said these things.
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The Holy Bible, New Century Version, Copyright © 2005 Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.