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CRI Part 3 – Isaiah 58

October 6, 2009

Isaiah 58. Let’s just pause for a moment and look at Isaiah 58.

“Is this not the fast which I choose,
To loosen the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the bands of the yoke,
And to let the oppressed go free
And break every yoke?
Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry
And bring the homeless poor into the house;
When you see the naked, to cover him;
And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then your light will break out like the dawn,
And your recovery will speedily spring forth;
And your righteousness will go before you;
The glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I Am’
If you remove the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness,
And if you give yourself to the hungry
And satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
Then your light will rise in darkness
And your gloom will become like midday.
And the LORD will continually guide you,
And satisfy your desire in scorched places,
And give strength to your bones;
And you will be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.”
(Isaiah 58:6-11, New American Standard Bible)

I can’t claim to really understand most of the book of Isaiah. It has intimidated me for most of my life. Though I have definitely been feeling an itch to study it, lately. (More, Lord. Help, Lord!)

I am not in a position to give a stunning exposition of the words of this chapter… or any of the book. But a few things do seem rather clear to me in this passage.

The Lord is answering Israel’s accusing question: Why is He not acting in response to their fasts? Why are they not seeing prosperity and justice?

His answer. Stop oppressing people and serving yourselves. Stop striving with one another and exalting yourselves. Walk out justice. Care for the poor and the hurting. Liberate the oppressed. Help the needy and the afflicted.

This is what God requires of His people. He loves justice. The church should do more than ask God to make things right. They should do their part in bringing forth justice.

That, in essence, is what I believe CRI does. They serve the afflicted. They give of themselves. They pour themselves out to help those who are hurting and in need. And they have an incredible open door to bring the light of true hope into the midst of devastation and tragedy.

It’s beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

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