Saturday, April 28, 2007


I happen to read Isaiah 58 one day and these few verses caught my attention.

5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed
and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD ?

6 "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?

7 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?

Fasting is an act of abstaining from certain things to humble oneself before God. Throughout the bible, we can see this in action (Esther, Ezra 8, etc). But according to the passage in Isaiah above, this is not the end to fasting.

In the church today, we still practice fasting. We have events like Lent to set aside time to spend with God and humble oneself before Him. But is that it? Is fasting just a one time thing ?
All other religions practice fasting also, sometimes even more strictly and devoutly than Christians. So what is the difference from our(Christians) fasting and their fasting? They also abstain from food and other things for a set period.

From what i read in the passage in Isaiah, there is another kind of fasting-a kind of fasting that is continuous and not set for a certain period (Isaiah 58:6-7). In verse 6 it talks about'untie the cords of the yoke' and ' set the oppressed free and break every yoke'. I think one way to look at it is about 'bearing one anothers burdens' (Galatians 6:2). We should care for one another. When someone is facing problems or is going through tough times, we should be concerned for the person and give aid to the best of our ability. Some people just want a listening ear. Can't we even do that?

Verse 7 is more familiar and i need not elaborate much as the verse says it all. From what i gather, fasting is not only an inward looking process i.e humbling oneself but also has to be outward looking i.e. concern for others. therefore, fasting can be done everyday not only on a designated day. When we care for another brother or sister in Christ, we are actually fasting in a way because we are giving the person our time and our attention.

In short, fasting is basiclly self-sacrifice. This is my opinion. please tell me if you disagree or find some error and give your opinion as well. I may write another post on this or ammend this one later.

Soli Deo Gloria!!




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I am created unique by God. I am God's child. God is my Father. A sinner but saved by the grace and mercy of God through the faith that he has given me.

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