Read Isaiah 58

If you stop trampling the Sabbath, stop doing whatever you want on my holy day, and consider the Sabbath a delight, sacred to the LORD, honored, and honor it instead of doing things your way,  seeking what you want and doing business as usual, then you will take delight in the Lord…. Isaiah 58:13-14 CEB

It would appear that the people were fasting: voluntarily going without food. And they were quite distressed that God was not taking the notice of them that they deemed appropriate. They saw fasting as required and expected, and they did it as if it was itself the purpose of God’s call. But, as is sometimes the case, they seem to have missed what God was truly after. For they did not act “righteously” (v.2) and they abandoned God. (v.2). God was looking for a changed attitude, one that was outward-looking (vv.6-7) not inward-looking (v. 5 & v.3). Fasting reminds us of our need for God and His provision, by reminding us, even in our hunger, of the needs of those around us. God is more interested in who we are becoming than in what we do “for Him.”

Fasting shows our need for God, and is not just a way to manipulate Him into noticing us. It is not a ritual, but a reminder of our need for Him as we serve the needs of others.

Dearest God, we and I need You: Your presence, Your love, and Your provision. As we fast, let us remember others who need things that we can help supply. And let fasting not be a ritual, done out of duty; but a sacrifice, giving up what we could use for ourselves, and giving our attention to others.

Pastor Larry Paladin, Jr., Elder
North Braddock Campus