Isaiah 58 begins: “Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression, And the house of Jacob their sins.”
Many years ago, YHVH told the prophets to cry out and tell the people their sins. This message was not to the world, it was to YHVH’s people. Today, that same message is to be proclaimed to the churches by His prophets.
Isaiah 58:2 continues: “Yet they seek Me daily, And delight to know My ways, As a nation that did righteousness, And did not forsake the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me the ordinances of justice; They take delight in approaching God. 3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’
Something was obviously wrong. The people in Isaiah’s time thought they were doing right but YHVH found fault with them. Today, God’s people read His word because they want to seek Him and know His ways. They try to do what Yeshua taught but they still live like the world. Some fast to afflict their souls when they choose and others don’t. I’m convinced that God is not pleased with all of those who claim to be Yeshua’s disciples. This is because they are not only tolerant of lawlessness, they practice it. They are like swine which are counterfeits of what is truly clean.
What was the problem with those who were fasting in Isaiah’s day?
Isaiah 58:3b-5 explains: “In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, And exploit all your laborers. 4 Indeed you fast for strife and debate, And to strike with the fist of wickedness. You will not fast as you do this day, To make your voice heard on high.”
Even though they were fasting, they practiced lawlessness and fasted for all the wrong things. They fasted for things that were in opposition to what YHVH desires. We need to examine ourselves to see if we are doing the same kind of things.
Isaiah 58:5 continues: “Is it a fast that I have chosen, A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, And to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast, And an acceptable day to the Lord?”
YHVH did choose a day for man to afflict his soul. Leviticus 23:26-29 says: “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 27 “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. 28 And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. 29 For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people.”
This is a day of fasting for YHVH’s people yet many are ignorant of this day and live it like any other. We must not ignore this day. To do so is to risk being cut off from YHVH’s people. Surely to fast and repent is acceptable to YHVH as long as it is accompanied by behavior that demonstrates genuine fasting and repentance.
Isaiah 58:6-7 demonstrates this idea: “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; ––––When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh?”
What happen when we live lawfully and afflict our souls? Isaiah 58:8-12 says, “Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. 9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ “If you take away the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, 10 If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday. 11 The Lord will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. 12 Those from among you Shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.
Are you sick? Do you need healing? Do you accuse others or speak wickedness? Do you feed the poor? Repent and live righteously!
Leviticus 23:30-32 continues the commandment for the Day of Atonement: And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath.”
You see, this day of fasting or afflicting your soul is a Sabbath. Isaiah 58:13 gives us more information we should be aware of: “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the Lord honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words, 14 Then you shall delight yourself in the Lord; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Just like YHVH spoke to His people long ago, He is speaking to us today. The fall appointed times (moedim) are upon us. Yom Teruah (day of blowing, Day of Trumpets) is this coming Thursday on Tishrei 1 (September 6, 2013). Yom HaKippurim (Day of the Atonements) will be Tishrei 10 (September 14, 2013). The feast (chag) of Sukkot (Tabernacles) plus the Shemeni Atzeret (the 8th day) will be Tishrei 15-22 (September 19-26). These moedim begin sundown the previous day. Each year their dates on the Gregorian calendar are different. This requires us to pay attention to when the proper time to celebrate the times of the moedim are.
Will you observe the moedim of YHVH? They are not just the appointed times of the Jews; these times are for all of YHVH’s children. They reveal the redemptive plan of YHVH for mankind. They are rehearsals for the fulfillment of prophecy.
Repent — put away lawlessness!!! Practice lawfulness and trust in Yeshua our Savior and Kinsman Redeemer!!