Isaiah 58:11 The Lord shall guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
The promises above demonstrate God’s care for those fasting for God-honoring purposes. These prophetic declarations, as well as many others found in Isaiah 58, establish comforting guidelines for making the spiritual exercise of fasting a thing of deep beauty and long term benefit.
Remember, God’s displeasure came not from Israel’s lack of fasting (in that, they were dutiful and obedient), but in the enthroning of self by flaunting their dietary restraints. Essentially, their sacrifices had become a means whereby self’s interests could be satisfied – whether notoriety, elevation, vindication, piety or condemnation. And it was for such flagrant indiscretion that God’s blessings became noticeably withheld.
But greater than God’s discerning of Israel’s faulty rituals and ensuing poverties were the abundant blessings awaiting those who fasted properly – for those who withdrew from nature’s course to know and fulfill God’s purposes and interests. To those, a litany of enviable advantages was provided, and an incredible coverage of helps was available to those serving from a pure heart.
Contemplate on the character of God when comprehending His promises to reward obedience. The depth and breadth of His commitments are held together and appropriated by nothing less than His faithfulness! And faithfulness is the cornerstone of all that God is; as faithfulness is shown through nature, through His mighty works, through His clarion words, and above all, through the sacrificial life of Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son!
In one single verse, God, in multiple ways, declares blessings that under-gird the revered practice of fasting. Assume also that the path of obedience regarding fasting will entail difficulties, as any positive service for the King is quickly noticed by many detractors. Yet, and according to scripture, it’s through various tribulations that we enter the Kingdom!
So, as we lessen the intake of food, may we expect also the intake of His superior guidance, protection, provision and power! As this period of restraint draws us closer to our Creator and with one another, may this corporate agreement provide innumerable answers and opportunities for an even greater display of Kingdom service!