Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Light Breaks Forth

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
Isaiah 58:6-9

Isaiah 58 is probably the second most-read chapter in my Bible, second only to Romans 8.

I don't think God could have made His heart any plainer.

Set the oppressed free. 

That is the kind of fasting He has chosen.

And light will break forth.

How absolutely beautiful is that?

The darkest places - the slums, the brothels, the garbage dumps... could light really break forth in those places?

Where mothers sell children to make ends meet, and children keep selling to survive - light breaks forth?

And where children dig through trash to eat and millions die unnoticed... light breaks forth?

And here is the hope - 

I can live this fasting. I can choose to follow the heart of God and spend myself on behalf of the hungry.

...then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
Isaiah 58:10-12

Isaiah 58 is this commandment to serve the poor and loose the chains of injustice. And just as you feel totally overwhelmed because of all the chains to loosen, there's this promise that He will guide you always. 

Tomorrow is the start of Lent.

Many will begin a 40-day fast and I think Isaiah 58 is quite appropriate for the occasion. 

Fasting is about more than going through the motions.

The king of fasting He has chosen?

to loose the chains of injustice... set the oppressed free.
share your food with the hungry, provide the poor wanderer with shelter
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood.

This is the kind of fasting I strive to choose each day as well.

And it's a process.

Because my life could always be simpler, more radical. Sometimes, I turn away from my own flesh and blood.

But I'd like to see that light break forth.

And the kind of fasting my Lord has chosen?

I choose it too.


In this season of Lent, will you choose this type of fasting too? Perhaps you could consider loosening the chains of injustice by sponsoring a child? I promise it will change your life. :)


This post is part of a link-up/blog hop for the Compassion Blogger Network hosted by Compassion International. We're answering the question: What Bible Verse Prompts and Guides You to Serve Others?

Check out other Compassion Bloggers' answers!


  1. Alyssa! You are my soul sister! Isaiah 58 and Romans 8 are my go-tos, my spiritual bread and all my internet passwords lol! I LOVE your post, and thank you so much for finding mine. Now if I can just figure out how to do the linkup thingy....

    1. that is way too cool! yes, i love those two chapters. :)

      thanks for stopping by! :) (and i think you did the linkup just fine! :D)

  2. Love your thoughts and words!

  3. I think this is my favorite post I've read so far in this blog hop!

    I love the photos you used to go with the words you wrote.

    1. thank-you jill! i loved your post as well - so encouraging & inspiring! :)


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