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How to Honor God

58 The Lord says, “Shout out loud. Don’t hold back.
    Shout out loud like a trumpet.
Tell my people what they have done against their God;
    tell the family of Jacob about their sins.
They still come every day looking for me
    and want to learn my ways.
They act just like a nation that does what is right,
    that obeys the commands of its God.
They ask me to judge them fairly.
    They want God to be near them.
They say, ‘To honor you we had special days when we fasted,
    but you didn’t see.
We humbled ourselves to honor you,
    but you didn’t notice.’”

But the Lord says, “You do what pleases yourselves on these special days,
    and you are unfair to your workers.
On these special days when you fast, you argue and fight
    and hit each other with your fists.
You cannot do these things as you do now
    and believe your prayers are heard in heaven.
This kind of special day is not what I want.
    This is not the way I want people to be sorry for what they have done.
I don’t want people just to bow their heads like a plant
    and wear rough cloth and lie in ashes to show their sadness.
This is what you do on your special days when you fast,
    but do you think this is what the Lord wants?

“I will tell you the kind of fast I want:
Free the people you have put in prison unfairly
    and undo their chains.
Free those to whom you are unfair
    and stop their hard labor.
Share your food with the hungry
    and bring poor, homeless people into your own homes.
When you see someone who has no clothes, give him yours,
    and don’t refuse to help your own relatives.
Then your light will shine like the dawn,
    and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your God will walk before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.
Then you will call out, and the Lord will answer.
    You will cry out, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’

“If you stop making trouble for others,
    if you stop using cruel words and pointing your finger at others,
10 if you feed those who are hungry
    and take care of the needs of those who are troubled,
then your light will shine in the darkness,
    and you will be bright like sunshine at noon.
11 The Lord will always lead you.
    He will satisfy your needs in dry lands
    and give strength to your bones.
You will be like a garden that has much water,
    like a spring that never runs dry.
12 Your people will rebuild the old cities that are now in ruins;
    you will rebuild their foundations.
You will be known for repairing the broken places
    and for rebuilding the roads and houses.

13 “You must obey God’s law about the Sabbath
    and not do what pleases yourselves on that holy day.
You should call the Sabbath a joyful day
    and honor it as the Lord’s holy day.
You should honor it by not doing whatever you please
    nor saying whatever you please on that day.
14 Then you will find joy in the Lord,
    and I will carry you to the high places above the earth.
    I will let you eat the crops of the land your ancestor Jacob had.”
The Lord has said these things.

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