Isaiah 58-60
(The Coming of the Glory of the LORD)
July 31st

Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

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Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verse

Arise! Shine, for your light has come, the glory of the LORD has dawned upon you.
Though darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds, the peoples,
Upon you the LORD will dawn,and over you his glory will be seen.

- Isaiah 60:1-2 (NAB)

Summary of Chapters

Today's chapters begin the final section of Isaiah, which describes the glory of the coming of God. Chapter 58 begins with a critique of the insincere fasting conducted by the people of Israel. Instead of giving up food, the LORD would rather that the people focus on ensuring justice is achieved and the poor are fed and clothed.

    "This is the kind of fast day I'm after:
        to break the chains of injustice,
        get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
        free the oppressed,
        cancel debts.
    What I'm interested in seeing you do is:
        sharing your food with the hungry,
        inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
        putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
        being available to your own families.
    Do this and the lights will turn on,
        and your lives will turn around at once.
    Your righteousness will pave your way.
        The God of glory will secure your passage.
    Then when you pray, God will answer.
        You'll call out for help and I'll say, 'Here I am.'

    - Isaiah 58:6-9 (MSG)

The LORD says that if people serve one another and restore the sanctity of the Sabbath that they “will find joy in the LORD (Isa 58:14 - NIV)” and receive the inheritance from Jacob. Chapter 59 opens with the prophet reminding the people that their many sins are the cause for separation from God:

    Look! Listen!
        God’s arm is not amputated—he can still save.
        God’s ears are not stopped up—he can still hear.
    There’s nothing wrong with God; the wrong is in you.

    - Isaiah 59:1-3 (MSG)

The prophet continues by observing that The LORD could not find anyone to intervene in the world, so decided to do it himself, and made plans to go to Zion to bring justice to the wicked and save those who turn to him.

Chapter 60 describes a vision of the future kingdom. All the nations will come to Jerusalem to worship the true God, and the peace of the world will allow the gatekeepers to keep the gate open without fear of attack.

The chapter ends with the LORD describing how the people will multiply and how he will come soon: “The least of you will be a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the LORD, in its time I will do this swiftly (Isa 60:22 - NIV).”

Reflection and Application

God welcomes our fasting, but not if we have not taken care of his other business. What good is it for us to give up food if others go hungry perpetually?

When we feel separated from God and want to understand why, then we need to look at ourselves and our own action. When we confess our sins to God and take time to reflect on his word, then we are taking the steps to get closer to his place.

Has the day come yet when all nations will gather in one place to worship the LORD? In some respects, perhaps. Christianity is practiced on every populated continent and in many languages. When churches around the world worship every Sunday, one could say that we are together in Spirit, but we have to ensure that we are fully engaging with the Spirit.

God wants us to continue to evangelize so that no one can say that they didn’t hear or they never got the memo about God. God will then multiply the faithful. When he decides to take an action, it will be swift. The moment when he does this may not arrive swiftly according to our own perception, but it will arrive in God’s time.

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

Related Questions
  1. What is the longest you have gone without food?
  2. What can we do today to help others find physical sustenance?
  3. How do we cleanse our minds in preparation for worship?

Recommended Prayer
Father in heaven, we know what you want from us. Help us to make your day holy and make a commitment to serve others.

Suggested Prayer Concerns
Those who are exploited in the workplace

Looking Ahead

Tomorrow's reading: Isaiah 61-63 (Mighty to Save)

Comments and Questions
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