How Do You Fast?


Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and did not forsake the ordinance of their God.  They ask me for the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.

“Why have we fasted,” they say, “and you don’t see?  Why have we afflicted our soul, and you take no knowledge of it?”

Look, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, and exact all your labours. Look, you fast for strife and debate, and to strike with the fist of wickedness. This day you shall not fast as you do, to make your voice to be heard on high.  Is this a fast that I have chosen, a day for a man to afflict his soul?  Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes underneath himself?  Will you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?  Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loosen the straps of wickedness, to undo heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?  Is it not to deal your bread to the hungry, and that you bring the poor that are outcast to your house? That when you see the naked you cover him; and that you do not hide yourself from your own flesh?

Then your light shall break forth as the morning, and your health shall spring forth quickly, and your righteousness shall go before you. The glory of the Lord shall be your reward. Then shall you call, and the Lord shall answer; you shall cry, and He shall say, “Here I am.”