Theme: CHRISTIANITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
Text: “Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not?…Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours. Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?” – Isaiah 58:3,6.
Comment: The level of our devotion to God is measured by the extent to which we are prepared to put down our personal desires and preferences to do the will of God as contained in the Holy Bible. The text states that not only must worshippers of God not be involved in oppression, injustice, and all manner of wickedness but also that they should oppose such evils wherever they rear their heads. The fasting God places high premium upon therefore is the doing of righteousness. Obedience to the word of God by ensuring social justice and not merely by offering sacrifices is thus the key to offering acceptable service to God, as stated in the text for today. The Prophet Samuel told Saul, “…to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry…” (1 Samuel 15:22, 23) God Almighty through Jeremiah the prophet, harped on obedience when he addressed the Jews thus: “For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. – Jeremiah 7:22, 23.