Read Isaiah 58:9b-14
9When you pray, I will answer you. When you call to me, I will respond.
“If you put an end to oppression, to every gesture of contempt, and to every evil word; 10if you give food to the hungry and satisfy those who are in need, then the darkness around you will turn to the brightness of noon. 11And I will always guide you and satisfy you with good things. I will keep you strong and well. You will be like a garden that has plenty of water, like a spring of water that never runs dry. 12Your people will rebuild what has long been in ruins, building again on the old foundations. You will be known as the people who rebuilt the walls, who restored the ruined houses.”
13 The Lord says, “If you treat the Sabbath as sacred and do not pursue your own interests on that day; if you value my holy day and honour it by not travelling, working, or talking idly on that day, 14then you will find the joy that comes from serving me. I will make you honoured all over the world, and you will enjoy the land I gave to your ancestor, Jacob. I, the Lord, have spoken.”
Verse 9 in the NRSV version of the Bible is more dramatic than in the Good News:
"If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil..."
The yoke is a yoke of slavery; pushing people down. Pointing fingers is playing the blame game - disrespecting others. Speaking of evil - is plotting evil things against others; or even dwelling on the evil of others.
Lord help me not to oppress others with the way I point fingers and speak evil. Set me free to be a spring of water that never runs dry.
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