Isaiah 58 ✒️ Good Works and The Needy

May 20, 2024 • Dr. Dave Burnette

1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

 2Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.

 3Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.

 4Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.

 5Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?

 6Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

 7Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

 8Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward.

 9Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

 10And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:

 11And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

 12And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

 13If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

 14Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

COMMENTARY by Dr. Dave Burnette

Written By: God through Inspiration

Penned By: Isaiah

Date Penned: (700-681 BC)

Overview: To Tell of God's Salvation through the Messiah (c 1-66)

Theme: Words of Comfort (c 40-66)

Message: An Admonition to Share with the Needy (v 1-14)

Isaiah 58 Commentary 

(58:1-14) True Worship - True worship was more than performing religious rituals, going to the temple every day, fasting, and listening to Scripture readings. These people missed the point of a living, vital relationship with God. Likewise, he doesn't want us acting pious when we have unforgiven sin in our hearts or are performing sinful practices with our hands. Genuine worship involves demonstrating our faith through positive actions, such as showing compassion for those who are poor, helpless, or oppressed. 

(58:6-12) A Lack of Faith - We cannot be saved by deeds of service without faith in Christ, but our faith lacks sincerity if it doesn't prompt us to reach out to others. Fasting can be beneficial spiritually and physically, but even at its best, fasting helps only the person doing it. God says he wants our service to go beyond our own personal growth to acts of kindness, generosity, and justice for prisoners, the oppressed, the hungry, the homeless, and anyone else in great need. True fasting is more than not eating for a certain time; it also involves preparing ourselves to honor God by applying his Word to our lives. 

(58:11) God's Spirit - God gives us the motivation and the energy to help others by continually restoring us with the ever-flowing refreshment of his Spirit. Without God's Spirit in us, helping others can become a chore. Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit as a river of living water (John 7:37-38). Drink deeply of his Spirit as you do your work, and you will find the inner strength and joy needed to serve others with love. 

(58:13-14) A Day of Rest - The day of rest should be observed and regarded not only because keeping the Sabbath is a commandment but also because it is best for us and it honors God. Keeping the Sabbath shows proper respect to God, our creator, who also rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:3). It also unifies families and sets priorities for them. Our day of rest refreshes us spiritually and physically, providing time when we can gather with others for worship and reflect on God without the stress of our everyday activities.

LIFE APPLICATION by Dr. Dave Burnette

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today, we continue in the Book of Isaiah with Chapter 58. Our text today shows a warning to share with the needy. Our works cannot save us, but our salvation will produce good works when we allow the Lord to live through us. In making an application, we see the life of a saved individual will produce good works of Christ, including helping the needy and loving others. How about you? Are you saved? If so, does your life produce good works? Let us learn from our text today and the reminder from Isaiah that a life saved through Jesus Christ will produce good works for others around us.

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