Isaiah 58:6, 7
Here are some thoughts on fasting. I have broken the verses up to better define what I want to say.
Vs. 6 is not this the fast that I have chosen? These are the reasons God wants us to fast. Some of the reasons are for us and some of the reasons have to do with others.
to loose the bands of wickedness, - To learn self-control and to have the discipline to refrain from doing wrong or bad habits. This could have to do with food but it may also be emotional or even spiritual.
to undo the heavy burdens, - To regain focus on what is important and to have a clear picture of what is going on in my life. To not be burdened down with the daily tasks of meal preparation for a period of time.
and to let the oppressed go free, - Being free from the control of food like chocolate or caffeine; Food and drinks that we feel that we cannot live or function well without. We may realize we can do quite well without them.
and that ye break every yoke? – The word yoke makes me think of a burden. So fasting is bringing all our burdens to attention and helping us realize what we need and what we can do without. What is it that is controlling our life when God needs control?
Once we realize our burdens, then God wants us to look to others and lighten their burdens
Vs.7 is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry,-Take food and give it to a person or family that you feel God wants you help out. Someone you know who needs the food.
and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? This is asking a lot. We don’t mind giving people food or even money but to have them in our homes. That is personal and will take our time. We are not very generous with our time when it comes to other people, much less our own family.
when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him;- When you see a need, fill it. Don’t just walk away or assume someone else is going to take care of the problem.
and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? This one really caught my attention. What is my body saying to me during a fast? “I WANT FOOD!” is what my body is demanding, but what else is it saying to me? It is calm. I do not feel the weight of a meal. I am feeling hunger pangs. I had a headache. Sometimes I forget and think I want to grab something to eat and then I remember that I am fasting. I slept well (That is an improvement). I have gotten a lot of things done because I am not preparing meals. My head seems clearer. I am not as flighty with my thoughts. I feel more in control. Do I ignore what my body is trying to tell me because I eat too much or eat the wrong things? I eat emotionally, so that would silence what my body really needs because I am just putting in my body what I want instead of what my body may need. I am feeding my emotions instead of my body.
Part 2 is here.
Whenever you consider fasting make sure you check with your doctor first.