Isaiah’s Call for True Humility Centuries Ago Still Rings True Today
When you read Isaiah 58, you start to wonder if anything ever changes. Even in the days of the prophet, Isaiah was called to challenge God’s people who knelt for the sake of the kneeling, not for the sake of honoring their God. Fasting had become a way of false worship, to show a pretend piety for the sake of being seen.
Centuries before Christ challenged the Pharisees and the Sadducees for the same mindset, God spoke through Isaiah and turned the idea of fasting on its head.
“Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
and not to hide yourself from your own kin?”
In our world today, millions of people are living in hardship, poverty, and oppression. They’re toiling to provide for themselves and their families in places where access to food and water is scarce. They’re rebuilding their homes and their communities after war or natural disasters left them ravaged. They’re striving against systems of injustice that make it difficult for them to better themselves and their communities.
In Isaiah 58, God calls us to this new kind of fast—not to give up our bread, but to share it with those who need it most. The worship and piety God commands of us brings life and flourishing to the hungry, the poor, the vulnerable, and the oppressed. It is this type of worship that is at the heart of One Great Hour of Sharing. This Offering supports ministries around the world working with people in need to respond to their immediate challenges and address the root causes of poverty and oppression.