I am reading today in Isaiah 58 (NIV). And I began with verse 11:
“The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.”
I have a little card holder that has memory Scriptures on index cards with little devotions on the backs of them, and this was today’s verse. But I wanted to know the context of this, so I read Isaiah 58:1-11 to get the context. For this was to be the context of today’s Video Talk (linked below).
The people of God of that time were living in rebellion against the Lord. Even though they seemed eager to know God’s ways – as if they were a nation that did what is right and had not forsaken God’s commands, and so they were fasting, thinking that God should be pleased – they were habitually and deliberately sinning against God. Yet they were asking God for just decisions and they seemed eager for God to come near them.
So, they were griping and complaining to God, thinking that he was not noticing their fasting, and so God answered them back. He let them know what he saw, which was that on the day of their fasting that they did as they pleased, not as was pleasing to God. They exploited their workers, and they were engaged in quarreling and strife, and they struck each other with wicked fists. And so he told them plainly that they could not fast as they did and expect their voice to be heard on high.
And then he let them know that the kind of fast that He has chosen, and that is acceptable to him, is to loose the chains of injustice and to untie the cords of the yoke, and to set the oppressed free. It is for them to stop doing evil to others and to treat others with love and kindness, just like he is saying to the church today to stop committing adultery and living in sexual immorality and lying and cheating and doing harm to other humans but to do good to them and to love them as God loves us.
And it was for them to share their food with the hungry and to provide shelter for the poor wanderer, and when they saw the naked to clothe them, and to not turn away from their own flesh and blood. But even many who are doing good to strangers are turning away from their own flesh and blood and they are deliberately and habitually sinning against them knowing that they are doing harm to them. And this must not be!
But when you turn away from your sinful practices, and you choose to do right in the eyes of God and to treat other people with love and not hate, and you choose to follow Jesus in obedience to his ways, then you will be blessed of God and you will call and God will answer you. And then the Lord will guide you always and will strengthen you and help you. And this is not just Old Testament. The New Testament teaches the same.
[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
Anyway, this is the subject the Lord had me talk about in today’s Video Talk, and he had me share some of my own testimony as part of this lesson, too:
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