Isaiah 58 will be my grounding text for Lent. I can get caught up in fasting “correctly” and making sure I do some readings. What I am challenged in this season is the walk I have in this world.
When God dealt severely with Israel it wasn’t over their incorrect practice of the sacrificial system. It was over their lack of care for the marginalized in their world. Their downfall wasn’t lack of worship. Their downfall was lack of justice.
In Matthew 25, Jesus tells the parable of the sheep and the goats. Their downfall wasn’t lack of worship. The goats were not permitted in because they lacked justice and mercy.
We can look good in worship. Where we need to look good is in justice and mercy.
“With what shall I come before the Lord,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:6-8)