THE RIGHT FAST
5 "Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a
man to humble himself? Is it for bowing one's head like a reedAnd
for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed?Will you call this a
fast, even an acceptable day to the LORD?
"Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And
break every yoke?
"Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the
homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; And
not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
"Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will
speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; The
glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
"Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; You will cry, and He
will say, 'Here I am!"
it a fast like this which I choose?
the Lord asks. If you walk around and afflict yourself with a lot of
religious exercises, what kind of profit will there be?
It is so easy for us and it lays deep down in our hearts to think in
our walk with God, that we have to act in a certain way. That we for
example act in a serious way.
How serious were you and how serious did you respond, when God in His
council decided to save you in His son, Jesus Christ?
will the grace the grace in Gods heart dawn for us!
He has come in advance for us, for everything we can ever imagine.
while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the
probably know the question Paul asked the Galatians, when they had
started to walk the way of the religious: You
foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ
was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to
find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law,
or by hearing with faith?
He calls them foolish. God is after all the same today as He was
yesterday, and His Salvation is not something that changes from day to
day, like one for yesterday and something else today and a different one
tomorrow! For this He did once, when he offered up Himself! (Hebr.7:27;
This and only this is for you till you are home in eternity! When you
one day will put your foot on the shore of eternity, it will be in Jesus
name and for Jesus sake only, and never in eternity for something else!
you will put your trust in this, to go away for yourself - into your
inner room (Mat. 6:6) where you read and pray to God?
A spiritual and wise man will do this and especially in our time,
where we are exposed to strong influences from everywhere. But you will
never get anything there for your actions! Because you do this
but because you go to the source which is already opened for you! Do you
see the difference?
water its furrows abundantly
would God want you to do then? He would like you to do something. Use
me where I wander, the singer sings. First and foremost, let us
point at for each other what God does
to do: Especially deeds to achieve something extra with Him; because
things are only given by mercy, and nothing can be bought.
again: What does He want you
Now you are going to hear something nice! The answer is: The same
that He has done for you, He wants you to do to others.
And what has He done for you? Yes, He has loosed you and set you
an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through
Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead),
5:1). Do not put your light under a bushel, but let it shine for all who
is in the house.
This is what you are called to do; to set your fellow-beings free
from the bondage, by the testimony of the freedom that is purchased for
you in Jesus Christ!
When you get to look into the freedom that is purchased for you in
Him, then by that you
servant of God! And He has
no others among man, than those who
looks intently at the perfect law, the law of
liberty, and abides by it!
That is how long He uses you!
Then you will also see what is crucial to do? That is why Paul writes
to the Corinthians: For
I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him
Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author
and perfecter of faith.
the history when Jesus was riding into Jerusalem on the Palm Sunday, and
He sends two of His disciples ahead to get the little donkey foal which
no one has ever ridden on before; then He says: Untie
and bring it here!
What the Lord will use needs to be
In the book of Hebrew it talks about the blood of Christ: how
much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit
offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from
dead works to serve the living God?
In Isaiah it says: He
who said to them, "Here is rest, give rest to the weary,"And, "Here is
repose," but they would not listen.
In the early translation it says: Allow the
Listen: Allow! God
It is the same who stands up in Israel about 700 years later in His
own person and teaches: Come
to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
it says something serious: But they would not listen. Can you imagine!
Think about turning your back to such a message from the Lord Himself!
But that is exactly what is happening today.
And then the word of the Lord confirms what Paul is teaching; that
works by the law self righteousness invokes Gods curse. But listen:
the word of the LORD to them will be, "Order on order, order on order,
Line on line, line on line, A little here, a little there," That they
may go and stumble backward, be broken, snared and taken captive.
Not because they were great sinners, but because they did not receive
the rest, neither allowed the fatigued rest! They took offence against
the Cornerstone, Christ. They despised Him for the benefit of their own
the fatigued rest. Lose your fellow-beings, by the ransom that you have
taken part in. That is what God wants with you.
Gospel does something to mind of a human being. You do not stand there
as a cold Pharisee
Every man has to make it as best as he can. I had to make it myself!
No, it is as we read it in the word: Is
it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the homeless poor
into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; And not to hide
yourself from your own flesh?
But this has something to do with the mind a mind a man not capable
of receiving himself, but is born
Without this mind you can build a home for the
homeless and poor around the whole world, yes, and though I give my body
to be burned, in another mans place (1 Cor. 13), it profits you
God rewards His own work in the believer, Augustine expressed.
this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To
undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break
Did you notice what was said? He breaks
exactly what Jesus is preaching: So
if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
8:36). Free from
And then you get Jesus yoke instead, which is easy. (Mat. 11:30). This
means that you, like an incapacitated, shall let the Lord take care of
everything. Lord, I admit that I myself have no control on this, you
are my only hope. If I shall reach heaven and beatitude, than you must
be A to Z.
Jesus was Himself kind of made incapacitated here on earth. This
means that as a human being, he had completely submitted Himself to the
will of the Father, and did not do anything of His own, but only what he
saw the Father do. As He says: Truly,
truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is
something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these
things the Son also does in like manner.
This means that He completely did the Fathers will as a human being.
That was what saved Him in the situation He was in. He had let Himself
be born under the
(Gal. 4:4). And it is this; - His perfect act for us - that also saves
to what He won the right to heaven and the beatitude by, as a
has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but
according to the power of
an indestructible life.
And whos victory He has given us! You can swim in the ocean of mercy
in heaven and beatitude that He has opened!
end the prophet Zachariah: In
that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the
inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity.
fountain! Listen to that!
Holy Bible New American Standard Version
Translator: Benedicte Holtan Smart