58:9b If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
58:10 if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.
58:11 The LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail.
58:12 Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.
58:13 If you refrain from trampling the sabbath, from pursuing your own interests on my holy day; if you call the sabbath a delight and the holy day of the LORD honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs;
58:14 then you shall take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
Upon reading this passage one might think that the Lord was simply giving them a list of “do’s” and “dont’s” and He would bless them. However, the whole point of what God is saying is He is calling them to full and unwavering obedience. As His children, He is calling them to follow His commandments not because He is a tyrannical God, but because He has the best in mind for them. As His people, He wants them to be the best reflection of Himself that they can be.
When we dabble into things that are outside of God’s commandments for our lives, we end up walking down a path that can lead to destruction and danger. God sets these limits and principles to live by because He knows that on our own we are weak and are prone to wander from Him.
Our God is first and foremost loving and gracious. He wants to see us at our best and longs to protect us from things that He knows will cause us harm. Submitting in full obedience to His word opens up experiencing God’s blessings in our lives. That does not mean that we will not face scary and uncertain times. It means that when we are challenged with a difficult circumstance we know that we can rely on His leading and guidance because we have chosen to obey and honor Him.
When God delivered the message through Isaiah Israel was in a lot of trouble. They were under the threat of captivity and they had all but abandoned serving God. God’s anger against the nation was clearly explained in parts of chapter 58.
Blaming others and doing evil (58:9), not taking care of the poor (58:10), trampling the Sabbath (58:13), and others that are listed outside of today’s passage.
But God doesn’t want to have Israel punished. He never wants to chastise His children. He even provides them with corrective action. If you refrain from these things “I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob.”
As God instructed the nation of Israel many times in the past, our our behavior can bring either blessings or curses. We are not part of the Old Covenant anymore but the Lord’s promises in Deuteronomy to the Nation of Israel are still important. God would not bless someone for bad behavior. Let us always walk in the ways of the Lord so that we can not bring judgement upon ourselves.
We have two choices when we wake in the morning. We can follow the Lord or we can do a number of alternatives. However, only one choice results in the blessings of God and the fruit of the Spirit.
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