The next prompt from Writing in the Margins
Isaiah 58:1-9a concludes with a powerful affirmation that God will say, “Here I am” to the individual who cries to God for help. Use note-taking in the text to make not of the flow of this verse. Circle the questions asked. How do these questions lead to the three “thens” in verses 7-9? How do the questions and affirmation work together to move the reader to the culmination of verse 9a?
I’ve been wrestling with this passage for about a week. After pondering the passage I reached some fairly simple conclusions that probably should have been obvious to me from the beginning:
- When our will is aligned with God’s, God is there to help us to do the will of God.
- God cares for the oppressed and the poor.
- God says that when we put aside our own interests to care for the oppressed and the poor it is a worthy fast. (And when fasting from food, the reason would be to draw closer to God and to be awakened to the needs of others.)
God is present when the bonds of wickedness are loosed, when the oppressed are set free, and whenever someone stops to help another in need. This passage is a call to move out of darkness into the light, to shine for God and to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world.