16 day plan

Caring for the Last, Least and Lost

Day 4 of 16

Isaiah 58:6-9

6Isn’t this the fast I choose:

To break the chains of wickedness,

to untie the ropes of the yoke,

to set the oppressed free,

and to tear off every yoke?

7Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,

to bring the poor and homeless into your house,

to clothe the naked when you see him,

and not to ignore your own flesh and blood?

8Then your light will appear like the dawn,

and your recovery will come quickly.

Your righteousness will go before you,

and the Lord’s glory will be your rear guard.

9At that time, when you call, the Lord will answer;

when you cry out, he will say, ‘Here I am.’

If you get rid of the yoke among you,

the finger-pointing and malicious speaking,

Reflections:  I remember doing work experience when I was 16 at Newtown Mission. I was a country boy in Sydney, and I was shocked at what I saw among the drug addicts and the downtrodden during that week. I realised how sheltered I’d been, and how important it is for Christians to care for those who are at rock bottom. This is true fasting, to share food, to provide shelter and clothing. Have you considered serving at a Soup Kitchen or a homeless shelter? Do you take opportunities in your life to be intentional and serve the poor?

Prayers:  Heavenly Father show me where I can serve those who you love. Open the right door for me to be your hands and feet. Use me for your glory Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Isaiah 58:1-14

True Fasting

1“Cry out loudly, don’t hold back!

Raise your voice like a ram’s horn.

Tell my people their transgression

and the house of Jacob their sins.

2They seek me day after day

and delight to know my ways,

like a nation that does what is right

and does not abandon the justice of their God.

They ask me for righteous judgments;

they delight in the nearness of God.”

3“Why have we fasted, but you have not seen?

We have denied ourselves, but you haven’t noticed!”

“Look, you do as you please on the day of your fast,

and oppress all your workers.

4You fast with contention and strife

to strike viciously with your fist.

You cannot fast as you do today,

hoping to make your voice heard on high.

5Will the fast I choose be like this:

A day for a person to deny himself,

to bow his head like a reed,

and to spread out sackcloth and ashes?

Will you call this a fast

and a day acceptable to the Lord?

6Isn’t this the fast I choose:

To break the chains of wickedness,

to untie the ropes of the yoke,

to set the oppressed free,

and to tear off every yoke?

7Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,

to bring the poor and homeless into your house,

to clothe the naked when you see him,

and not to ignore your own flesh and blood?

8Then your light will appear like the dawn,

and your recovery will come quickly.

Your righteousness will go before you,

and the Lord’s glory will be your rear guard.

9At that time, when you call, the Lord will answer;

when you cry out, he will say, ‘Here I am.’

If you get rid of the yoke among you,

the finger-pointing and malicious speaking,

10and if you offer yourself to the hungry,

and satisfy the afflicted one,

then your light will shine in the darkness,

and your night will be like noonday.

11The Lord will always lead you,

satisfy you in a parched land,

and strengthen your bones.

You will be like a watered garden

and like a spring whose water never runs dry.

12Some of you will rebuild the ancient ruins;

you will restore the foundations laid long ago;

you will be called the repairer of broken walls,

the restorer of streets where people live.

13“If you keep from desecrating the Sabbath,

from doing whatever you want 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,

seeking your own pleasure, or talking business;

14then you will delight in the Lord,

and I will make you ride over the heights of the land,

and let you enjoy the heritage of your father Jacob.”

For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.