In yesterday's post we began Isaiah 58 and ended with Yahweh saying that true fasting is something more than not eating food and expecting God to pay attention. Just like Isaiah 1, Yahweh says if there is injustice, He won't listen, nor will he see our fast and honor it with blessing.
What is the kind of fast Yahweh wants? Did you read the text that opens this post? If not, go back and read it. This answers the question in a simple yet profound way. House the homeless. Clothe those with no money to buy clothes. Don't hide from your relatives when they need help.
And for pity's sake, don't give your relative a "loan"! They won't pay it back, and it's just going to be a bone of contention the rest of your life when they don't! If you are going to help a relative, don't expect the money back. If they give it back, good! But don't hold it over them the rest of their lives if they don't. Forgive them, and move on!
I've heard of people who actually told the person not to pay money back, then resented them for not paying it back. You told them not to! If you tell them not to, don't expect them to. But there's another option between making money for a relative or friend a loan and telling them not to pay it back. Just don't say anything. If you find compassion in your heart to help someone. Help them, and be quiet. You don't have to put stipulations on the money.
When we give money from The Journey, we pray for the person receiving it, a blessing upon them for getting back on their feet, and then we say nothing. Only if someone says they want to pay it back–and a few do say this–do we say, "We don't expect this back." And we don't expect it back. We want them to pass the blessing to someone else, to pay it forward as the saying goes.
PRAYER, TRUE FASTING, AND GIVING
Yahweh, King of the Armies of Heaven, help us help ourselves, to confess our sins before you and stop any injustices or malice we show toward our neighbors. Would you lead us to true fasting? You said you would shine on us. We pray these words from Isaiah for ourselves in this age today.