“They seek me day by day, and they desire to know my ways, like a people who has done righteousness and has not abandoned the judgment of his God. They ask me now for righteous judgment, and they desire to approach God, saying, ‘Why have we fasted and you did not see it? Why have we humbled our souls and you did not perceive it?’(Isaiah 58:2–11, LES)
Because in the days of your fasts, you find your own desires, and you provoke all those who are under your authority. Surely you fast for judgments and fights, and you strike the humble with fists.
Why do you fast before me today so that your voice is heard in shouting? I have not chosen this fast and a day for a man to humble his soul, or for you to bend your neck like a ring and spread sackcloth and ashes under yourselves; this is not how you shall call an acceptable fast. I have not chosen such a fast as this,” says the Lord.
Instead, loose every unjust fetter, undo the knot of violent transactions, send the broken ones forth in forgiveness, and tear every unjust contract asunder!
Break your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house.
If you see someone naked, clothe him, and you will not despise anyone of the near kin of your descendants.
Then your light will break forth early, and your healing will spring forth quickly, and your righteousness will proceed before you, and the glory of God will cover you. Then you will cry aloud, and God will listen to you; while you are still speaking, he will say, “Look! Here I am.”
If you remove the fetter and finger-pointing and the grumbling word from yourself, and you give bread to the hungry from your soul, and you fill the humbled woman, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your darkness will be like noon. And your God will be with you always, and you will be filled just as your soul desires, and your bones will become fat, and they will be like a drenched garden and like a fountain that does lack not water.”