Isaiah 58 (2)
Our human nature desires God for our pleasure. God desires and provides for us to participate in His pleasure.
He unveils our shallow pleasure (v.v. 1-4)
He reveals what accompanies a heart that seeks His pleasure
He reveals the benefits of participating in His pleasure
He reveals that obedience becomes an avenue of enjoying God
The essence of Israelite religion, however, is response. Not doing things to influence the Lord but doing them to obey him; not works looking for reward but faith acting in obedience. For this reason, Isaiah counterpoises the desperate fasting of verses 2–3 with the joyful keeping of the Sabbath in verses 13–14. For in every sense the Sabbath brings us to the heart of the matter. It is a real test of ‘heart’-religion to give a whole day to God and to do it with delight. The Sabbath is, first, a call to consecrate life’s timetable to God, to adopt a style for six days which allows the seventh day to be a day apart