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Summary: The bible teaches us that to truely live in this life and the next, we must serve the poor.

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Keys of Life – Service August 29, 2004

Isaiah 58:9b-12

According to the advertisers, what brings life?

Lotto Super 7 TV Ad

Destinator

Professor Posh

Jesse Streets

The Splurger

Cosmetica

Relaxo

2-Weeks-Notice-Man

Email Spam

Money

Weightloss

Sex

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

· Gratitude

· Abiding in Jesus

· Watch and Be Ready

· Weeding

· 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.

Isaiah 58

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 [1] 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.


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