Isaiah 58 is critical for Isaiah’s overall theme, with wide-ranging implications, not only for our spiritual disciplines and personal piety, but for our engagement in what is often called social justice. That passage makes crystal clear that it is not enough for us to pray, to fast, to seek God’s face. In fact, praying, fasting, and seeking God’s face without actively promoting justice is hypocrisy. God promises shalom to us, not so that we can simply enjoy it for ourselves, but so that we can take part in restoring our broken world.
But if this is true, then why is the world still so bad? If we have the opportunity to restore divine justice to our unjust world, why is it still so broken? That is the question this passage addresses from the very first verse.
Title: The Just Conqueror (sermon from May 8)
Text: Isaiah 59