Summary: The bible teaches us that to truely live in this life and the next, we must serve the poor.
Keys of Life – Service August 29, 2004
According to the advertisers, what brings life?
Lotto Super 7 TV Ad
It’s easy to believe them – the message is relentless – there was even TV advertising when I was pumping gas the other day!
We can find ourselves saying “I’d be much happier if…
Keys of Life according to… Scripture
· Following the Good Shepherd
· Being filled with the Spirit
· Abiding in Jesus
· Watch and Be Ready
· Intentional Relationships
In ancient times, they had a key to life that we might not list today – placating the Gods. In all the ancient stories – the Iliad, the Odyssey, Oedipus Rex – the main plot involves ticking the gods off through lack of respect, or not giving sacrifice or disobeying their self-serving orders. You didn’t have to change your life or anything, you just had to keep the gods happy through respect, worship and sacrifice. Keeping the gods happy was similar to keeping a spoiled child happy.
The problem in Israel was that they believed the advertising and they applied the same concept to God Almighty – they thought that they could do as they liked as long as they went through the ritual worship and didn’t blaspheme.
In Isaiah 58 they are angry because they felt like they were coming through on their end of the deal, but God wasn’t reciprocating.
1 "Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
and to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 For day after day they seek me out;
they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
and seem eager for God to come near them.
3 ’Why have we fasted,’ they say,
’and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
and you have not noticed?’
"Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
and exploit all your workers.
4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD ?
6 "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness  will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
"If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
13 "If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the LORD’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the LORD ,
and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob."
The mouth of the LORD has spoken.
We did the stuff to keep you happy God! We worshiped, we prayed, we fasted! And you did nothing! Wad up?