Isaiah 58

Isaiah 58 6-12

Is not this the fast that I choose:
    to loose the bonds of wickedness,
    to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed[b] go free,
    and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
    and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
    and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
    the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
    you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
    the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10 if you pour yourself out for the hungry
    and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
    and your gloom be as the noonday.
11 And the Lord will guide you continually
    and satisfy your desire in scorched places
    and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
    like a spring of water,
    whose waters do not fail.
12 And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
    you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
    the restorer of streets to dwell in.

This Psalm of course is about Jesus who came to release the captives and bind up the broken hearted.  He came to set the prisoners free and let the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear and on and on.  The blessings of Christ dominate the life of His people.  Jesus wants us to let our lights shine before men ‘so that they give glory to God”.  Yet we are always prone to hypocrisy and Jesus will later call the folk who practiced their piety before men “hypocrites”.  The word hypocrite means an actor.  Jesus called the Pharisees of his day actors in Matthew 6

The Jewish scholars had a list of seven kinds of Pharisees all but one of whom disgraced the name.  Maybe we behave like Pharisees sometimes so we are going to go through the list.

The first type is the Shoulder Pharisee” who packs his good works on his shoulder so that other people have an easy time seeing it.