Isaiah 58:1-11 (New International Version)

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True Fasting

1 "Shout it aloud,1 do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet.2 Declare to my people their rebellion3 and to the house of Jacob their sins.4 2 For day after day they seek5 me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken6 the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near7 them. 3 'Why have we fasted,'8 they say, 'and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled9 ourselves, and you have not noticed?'10 "Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please11 and exploit all your workers. 4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,12 and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard13 on high. 5 Is this the kind of fast14 I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble15 himself ? Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed16 and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?17 Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD? 6 "Is not this the kind of fasting18 I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice19 and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed20 free and break every yoke?21 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry22 and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter23-- when you see the naked, to clothe24 him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?25 8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,26 and your healing27 will quickly appear; then your righteousnessa28 will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.29 9 Then you will call,30 and the LORD will answer;31 you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. "If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger32 and malicious talk,33 10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,34 then your light35 will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.36 11 The LORD will guide37 you always; he will satisfy your needs38 in a sun-scorched land39 and will strengthen40 your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden,41 like a spring42 whose waters never fail.
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