Scripture: Isaiah 58:1 (God said to the prophet Isaiah) Shout out, do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet! Announce to my people their rebellion, to the house of Jacob their sins. 2 Yet day after day they seek me and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments, they delight to draw near to God. 3 “Why do we fast, but you do not see? Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?” Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day, and oppress all your workers. 4 Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist. Such fasting as you do today will not make your voice heard on high.
Observation: God is calling out his people for their duplicity. On one hand they are careful to follow religious observances. On the other hand, they fail to reflect the heart of the God they worship – which is the point of the religious observances. They are not a just and merciful people as God intends.
Application: When people encounter us, they should encounter something of the God we worship, and the Lord Jesus we follow. I think this is part of what it means to be the “salt of the earth” and a “city on a hill”. This morning I’m asking myself if I reflect the God I serve. When people meet me, do they see something of the heart of Father? Or am I just like everyone else?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, you raised us to be a peculiar people – marked by love, mercy, justice, and peace. I admit to you Lord that often I’m no different than an unbeliever. I expect this to be true of many others reading this blog today. Lord, give us grace to reflect who you are more and more. Amen.