Sunday School with Rev. Dr. Theodis Acklin

Lesson Background: The book of Isaiah is the first of the writings of the Prophets in the Bible, and Isaiah, the author, is generally considered the greatest of the prophets. Isaiah was God’s special messenger to Judah. Judah had a form of godliness, but in their hearts they were corrupt. Isaiah’s warning was intended to purify the people by helping them to understand God’s true nature and message. However, they repeatedly ignored the warnings given by Isaiah. The message of hope looked forward to the coming of the Messiah. Because of Judah’s sin, God allowed the Assyrians to conquer them and carry them away in captivity. A few years later, Babylon captured the Assyrians and became a world power.

God’s Chosen Fast (Isaiah 58:67):
Break Every Yoke (v.6) “Is not this the fast that I have chosen?” Here God asks a question, and then answers it. God tells his people what He considers a true “fast” that He will honor when he asked “Is not this the fast I have chosen?” First, the Lord said that a true “fast” or “the fast that I have chosen” is “to loose the bands of wickedness.” This means to set free anyone who has in wickedness been placed in chains. Second, God said a true “fast” day was “to undo the heavy burdens.” The phrase “to undo the heavy burdens” means to loosen the bands of the yoke. Third, God said that true “fast” meant “that ye break every yoke?” Fourth, God said that a true “fast” meant “that ye break every yoke?” This was a call to the people to wipe out every instance of oppression.

Providing For The Needs of the Others (Isaiah 58:7). This says “is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that they are cast out to thy house? When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?” In addition to ceasing from previous injustices and oppression, a day of fasting includes doing good deeds. Here, God continued to tell His people what He considered a true “fast” that He will honor by turning to the needy and the underprivileged.

The Results of True Fasting (Isaiah 58:8-10):
God’s Glory (Isaiah 58:8-9). (v. 8). “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall bring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go forth before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward.” First, God promised “thy light shall break forth as the morning. The people who had been in darkness because of their hypocritical and insincere worship would be surrounded by ‘light,” and God is “light(1John 1:5. Second the Lord said,” and thine health shall spring forth speedily.The word translated “health” signifies the healing of a wound or in a figurative sense of restoration. When God’s people honestly facing their spiritual sickness and bring forth fruits of repentance, their restoration will happen rapidly

References : International Sunday School Lessons, KJV 2022-2023, Standard Lesson Commentary