69 Isaiah / Part 2 (18)

In an interval with light

Isaiah 58:1-14
John 12:35-36
‡TAn accusation of prophet

@Who would be the people who heard a message of Isaiah first? Perhaps it was disciples of Isaiah. In Israel, there were many prophet groups since Elijah, and they took a message of their teacher and were reading aloud it. Surely because Isaiah and disciples succeeded that tradition, too, and this which is said "Cry loudly, do not hold back; Raise your voice like a trumpet, and declare to My people their transgression, and to the house of Jacob their sins."(58:1), is imagined a scene when he entrusted disciples with a message. However, the message of Isaiah who accused an Israeli crime repeatedly many times met intense repulsion of Jews. What was said "Why have we fasted and Thou dost not see? Why have we humbled ourselves and Thou dost not notice? Behold, on the day of your fast you find your desire, and drive hard all your workers."(3), and "Yet they seek Me day by day, and delight to know My ways, ....."(2), surely it will be irony of a prophet. "They are asking teachings of God", it was only formal religion life. Even if they keep a fast and wear Roughness cloth, and are covered with ash and ban the body, and keeping a sabbath, it would be only useful to show off their religious ardor.

@A fast was a thing written down in many places of the Old Testament, but, almost it was a sporadicity and voluntary thing, and it was done as repentance of a crime or expression of sorrow. When it becomes a thing institutionalized as law of Moses, in an unexpected thing, it was only a day of 1 degree a year atonement for one's sin (10th of the seventh month, in Jewish career), (Leviticus 23:26-32). However, when it became a system, will it be human sad one side, they gradually increased. It has been established so that a fast day became 1 degree a month or every week. Perhaps it is estimated that there was a considerable number of a fast day in the times of Isaiah. On that fast day, Jews wore roughness cloth quite sadly and would show off the state that they put on ash, and fasted. However, while they are soaked in a religious delight, it is said "And drive hard all your workers."(4). These workers are their debtors, and therefore it seems that these are the people who became slaves for them. They abuse the people. On the day of fast day that should originally bring repose! Anger of this prophet blows up.

‡U Justice and faith

@"Is this not the fast which I chose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke? Is it not to divide your read with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into the house; when you see the naked, to cover him, an not to hoe yourself from your own flesh?"(6-7). A message of this prophet that the fast which God demands is not formulas religious acts at all is transmitted. It is our contents itself that is asked.

@I seem to say a reason-like thing a little, but please forgive me. There is it with "the bonds of wickedness" and "the bans of the yoke". Perhaps, it will be "a yoke" which was said that consideration to poor people was not enough and occurred, and it points at "a worker" (4). He became a slave from a debt. And as if it is totally a condition of the salvation, it is said "If you remove the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, and if you give yourself to the hungry, and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,"(9-10). This will emphasize "the fast which God chose" by repeating Verse 6-7. "Speaking wickedness" slanders a person by "telling words of a spell" and it means criticizing without cause. Especially, we must notice that it becomes "the yoke" to the other people, and it is matched "pointing at back finger". "If you give yourself to the hungry,"(7), it is to give poor people bread, but, a human being is not simple enough only with bread. "If you satisfy the desire of the afflicted", it might be requested to be a comfort of the starved person's who despairs besides bread suffering deep. Will not it be still more necessary in the present age when a suffering becomes more complicated? It is said that there should be justice which God comes, in the human society with which the person and the person are comparing his face.

@Furthermore, Isaiah takes up the sabbath told in Chapter 56 once again, "If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and shall honor it, desisting from your own ways, from seeking your own word,"(13). A condition told here will be a thing to ask about faith posture of people believing God which prizes God in the center of human being society. And a fast and a sabbath were the greatest problems for us who separated from God distantly, as well as Israel. A fast and a sabbath are asked "Do you do justice of God?" and "Is faith to believe God your center?", but, in the neither, surely we must hear that it is the same question whether we walk with God as our God. The contents of faith are asked.

‡V In an interval with light

@By the way, "Is this not the fast which I chose?", I remember that Jesus talked from here. "Come, you who are blessed of My father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me, I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me." (Matthew 25:34-36) For Israel, consideration to the weak was extremely important way of life to walk as people of God. However, while Jews are fasting like a person of quite pious faith, on the other hand, they completely shut a heart for the weak people whom they must pay more attention. Both a fast and a sabbath were only ceremonies to be religious for them. Besides, it seems to be subject of concern to be greatest thing reflected in eyes of the other person! Jesus took up this human way of life since Moses, while He was talking about "the end". I am afraid whether the human times become more thin contents rather than the times of Isaiah, than the times of Jesus, and the present age, and "the end" will become more.....

@Isaiah would foresee such times. It seems that he issues warning to the modern trend evaluated only in the surface. However, he puts power on telling a blessing of God than it while using big space to an accusation of a crime. It is here, "Then your light will break out like te dawn, and your recovery will speedily spring forth;"(8), "Then your light will rise in darkness, and your gloom will become like midday."(10). "Your light" will be the One becoming your light. There is it in 60:19, "But you will have the Lord for an everlasting light, and your God for your glory.". It is Immanuel / a servant of the Lord Himself whom he has told it until now. I hear that Isaiah shows Messiah / Jesus with all his energy and prepares the road of Jesus. Until Verse 5 in the first half Chapter 58, it calls "you" (the plural), but, in the latter half Verse 6, it becomes "you" (the singular). We must hear heartily that blessing of Messiah is a invitation to "you" and "me", and, shall we take it well that Jesus died on the cross for our crime as our light, appearing?