Hope Lost and Found:
Insights on God’s Plan of Salvation, Revival and Restoration
Part 14 — God Calls us out of Hypocrisy
by Harvey L. Diamond
In Isaiah 58, God confronts us on the issue of religious hypocrisy. He watches our actions, but sees into our hearts. He notices the works we do, but knows our true motivations better than we know ourselves. He knows what we do to feel good about ourselves, impress others and indulge in self-interests, but His heart cries out for the truly needy and oppressed. He promises blessings to those who truly find delight in pleasing God and walking in His covenant ways.
"Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, 'Here I am.'
"If you take away the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
If you extend your soul to the hungry
And satisfy the afflicted soul,
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
And your darkness shall be as the noonday.
The LORD will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
Those from among you
Shall build the old waste places;
You shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach,
The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.
"If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,
From doing your pleasure on My holy day,
And call the Sabbath a delight,
The holy day of the LORD honorable,
And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways,
Nor finding your own pleasure,
Nor speaking your own words,
Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD;
And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,
And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
The mouth of the LORD has spoken."
What a joy it is delighting in the ways of the Lord! Once you do, you wonder why you waited so long! Oh, how foolish we can be. The things we trade for God's real peace and joy amaze me.