Fasting that Pleases God
1“Cry aloud, spare not;
Lift up your voice like a trumpet;
#Mic. 3:8Tell My people their transgression,
And the house of Jacob their sins.
2Yet they seek Me daily,
And delight to know My ways,
As a nation that did righteousness,
And did not forsake the ordinance of their God.
They ask of Me the ordinances of justice;
They take delight in approaching God.
3‘Why#Mal. 3:13–18; Luke 18:12 have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen?
Why have we #Lev. 16:29; 23:27afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’
“In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure,
And exploit all your laborers.
4#1 Kin. 21:9Indeed you fast for strife and debate,
And to strike with the fist of wickedness.
You will not fast as you do this day,
To make your voice heard on high.
5Is #Zech. 7:5it a fast that I have chosen,
#Lev. 16:29A day for a man to afflict his soul?
Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush,
And #Esth. 4:3; Job 2:8; Dan. 9:3to spread out sackcloth and ashes?
Would you call this a fast,
And an acceptable day to the Lord?
6“Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To #Luke 4:18, 19loose the bonds of wickedness,
#Neh. 5:10–12To undo the heavy burdens,
#Jer. 34:9To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
7Is it not #Ezek. 18:7; Matt. 25:35to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
#Job 31:19–22; James 2:14–17When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from #Gen. 29:14; Neh. 5:5your own flesh?
8#Job 11:17Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
#Ex. 14:19; Is. 52:12The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
9Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’
“If you take away the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger, and #Ps. 12:2; Is. 59:13speaking wickedness,
10If you extend your soul to the hungry
And satisfy the afflicted soul,
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
And your darkness shall be as the noonday.
11The Lord will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
12Those from among you
#Is. 61:4Shall build the old waste places;
You shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach,
The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.
13“If #Ex. 31:16, 17; 35:2, 3; Is. 56:2, 4, 6; Jer. 17:21–27you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,
From doing your pleasure on My holy day,
And call the Sabbath a delight,
The holy day of the Lord honorable,
And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways,
Nor finding your own pleasure,
Nor speaking your own words,
14#Job 22:26; Is. 61:10Then you shall delight yourself in the Lord;
And I will cause you to #Deut. 32:13; 33:29; Is. 33:16; Hab. 3:19ride on the high hills of the earth,
And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
#Is. 1:20; 40:5; Mic. 4:4The mouth of the Lord has spoken.”