The Book of Isaiah Bible Study Chapter 58 Part 2

Isaiah

We are going to read Isaiah 58:9-12.  

v9: You shall call, and the L-RD will answer: Being obedient to what G-d has called us to do will cause our prayers to be effective. 

  • Take away the yoke: Remove that which is a burden on others. 
  • Pointing of the finger: This speaks of a condemning of others. 
  • Take away the yoke… the pointing… speaking wickedness: When we do these things we are going to experience a change in the way that we think and behave toward others. 

Note: Effective fasting is going to change our behaviour. It is going to bring us into agreement with the will, purpose and objectives of G-d.

v10: Extend your soul: Give to others of everything that we have, the essence of ourselves. When someone is truly in need we need to minister to them.

  • Satisfy the afflicted soul: When people are suffering, move to eliminate or lessen their suffering.

Note: When we behave in this way, our fasting is going to bring change. This is the type of behaviour that empowers our prayer and brings G-d’s provision into our lives. This kind of behaviour transforms us, so that the glory of G-d is seen or manifested to others through us. 

v11: Note: In this verse we see the benefits of carrying out the kind of behaviour (loving others) that G-d delights in. 

  • Strengthen your bones (literally: Your bones released). Sometimes when people are suffering, they feel as if a great weight (sometimes physically but often spiritually) has been placed upon their bodies. Their bones feel dislocated and out of joint from the heavy burden upon them. This is a word that talks about the releasing or the freeing up of those bones and joints (This is the same word used for a corkscrew popping the cork from a wine bottle so that the wine can be released – from being tense to being free). 
  • Watered: The word for being saturated.
  • A spring of water, whose waters do not fail: This spring never runs dry. It never ceases to give water. 
  • Fail: This is the word for a lie – a falsehood. G-d has created us in His image but because of sin we are corrupted and deceitful. We were created in His image to reflect His image (His character) by behaving like Him. We do not always do this though and we give a false image or a false impression. This verse is telling us that G-d is going to move in such a way that there will be nothing false about what we are doing.

v12: From among you: From the people who live in the way that G-d delights in (ie: as mentioned in the verse above). 

  • Old waste places (literally: Eternal desolation): Those things that have been destroyed for a long time. These things are going to be built back. A connection to the past will be restored – ie G-d is going to redeem the days that were wasted (Joel 2:25). He is going to establish what He wanted to so long ago.
  • Streets (literally: pathways) to dwell in: Kingdom pathways – pathways they lead into the Kingdom of G-d, that we might dwell with Him. 

Note: This chapter has taught us, so far, about how we can live effectively. An effective lifestyle is rooted in prayer, fasting, being committed to righteousness and the justice of G-d. When we live in the ways described, G-d is going to work mightily in and through our lives and, in the end, He is going to bring about a restoration, fixing the breaches that need to be fixed, restoring those dwelling places that relate to the Kingdom (ie setting things in order). All of this restoration and repair is for the purpose of getting people ready for G-d’s Kingdom (of which the Sabbath is a picture)

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