To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh? – Isaiah 58.6-7
True fasting is not just putting on a show and not eating. It is so much more than just ‘look how spiritual I am.’
Here is the fast God has chosen. This is the evidence of a true fast. There is something we do as well as something we don’t do. There are two types of things we should be doing. There are spiritual things to do and there are physical things.
Let’s look at the spiritual things first.
Loose the bonds of wickedness
Undo the heavy burdens
Let the oppressed go free
Break every yoke
When we fast part of our focus is on the spiritual needs of those who don’t know Christ. It is easy for us to be critical of them and attack them for their wickedness and wrongness. It is harder for us to take Christ’s perspective and to see them in need of a saviour. It is hard for us to remember that we have a ministry of reconciliation, not a ministry of condemnation.
The problem is that this world is bound by wickedness, it is burdened and oppressed by sin and the cares of this world, and it is carrying a yoke of pressure it need not carry.
We have the answer in Christ. Let love motivate us to lift the cares and woes that this work has to deal with every day.