Steve Coerper (10 Mar 2024)
"Considering the specifics of "God's Chosen Fast""

Dear Dove Community:

I'm looking at the eight things listed in Isaiah 58:6-7 that give specifics describing the fast that God has chosen.  Some appear to be corporate or societal responses, while others are clearly personal:
    1. loose the bonds of wickedness
    2. undo the heavy burdens
    3. let the oppressed go free
    4. break every yoke
    5. share your bread with the hungry
    6. shelter the poor who are cast out
    7. clothe the naked
    8. don't "hide from your own flesh"
1.  There's so much wickedness I wouldn't know where to begin, unless this refers to taking wickedness out of your life, which is to say quit the porn, quit the drunkenness, quit the gambling, quit the fornication, etc.

2.  The heaviest burden on most is probably debt bondage or financial burdens.  Some "undoing" is debt relief, and some is spending control.  If someone owes you money, then personal debt forgiveness is probably in view.

3.  Let the oppressed go free - unclear on who the "oppressed" are.  In our culture, EVERYONE claims some sort of oppression.

4.  His yoke is easy and His burden is light, so maybe that is in view.  Break off the heavy "yoke" that is replaced with Christ's light one.

5.  Share food with the hungry.  Any homeless folks in your town?

6.  Help provide housing for the homeless.  This requires a little unpacking and some discretion.  I would not endanger my wife or family by bringing some random homeless person under my roof.  But there's still an opportunity to extend grace.

7.  Clothe the naked -  Another visit to the Donation Center is in order.

8.  Charity begins at home.  The Message Bible says it's "being available to your own family" and that makes a HUGE amount of sense in a world where parents and kids are buried in their TV programs and iPhones and don't really have time for - or investment in - each other.