We act as though we seek you, God. We seem eager to know Your ways as if we were a nation that does right and has not forsaken You. We ask for justice for ourselves and seem eager for You to come near us. We ask You why You don’t seem to notice how we’ve humbled ourselves and lived our faith in our daily lives.
Yet in our daily faith, we really do as we please and exploit others from our position of power. We end up fighting and abusing others in our wickedness.
We cannot continue this kind of faith and expect to be heard by You for this is not the kind of faith You have chosen – it is only false humility and grieving over what we want and do not have.
The kind of faith that You have chosen is really the loosening of the chains of injustice and the undoing of the chords of oppression. It is sharing our food with the hungry and providing shelter for the homeless. It is clothing the naked and refusing to turn from them as if they were our own family.
Only then will our light be genuine. It will be a light that breaks out like the light at dawn, and we will find that our own healing has come with it. And with our healing, the righteousness of Your Son. Only then will our own cries be heard by You, and You will come to our aid with Your own presence.
If we do away with oppression, with casting the blame, and with hateful words – if we spend ourselves on behalf of the hungry and work tirelessly to meet the needs of the oppressed, only then will Your light show through us as bright as the midday sun.
For people like this, the Lord will provide guidance, satisfy their needs, and give them necessary strength. These people will be like well watered gardens. They will rebuild what has been broken and return to the foundation of truth. They will be known as repairers and restorers.
If we keep from rejecting Your ways and doing as we please – if instead we delight in Your holiness and honor Your authority by not going our own way in what we do and say, only then will we find our joy and our inheritance.
The Lord has spoken.
Taken from Isaiah 58:2-14