Shout out, do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet! Announce to my people their rebellion, to the house of Jacob their sins.” (Isaiah 58:1)

The prophet Isaiah was called forth, according to his story of being called by the Divine, to deliver messages to Israel that descended from the house of Jacob. This, if did not know, was the beginning of the twelve tribes of the Jews. Israel had come a long road since then. And apparently had gone astray from the Lord God more than once.

“Yet day after day they seek me and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments, they delight to draw near to God.
“Why do we fast, but you do not see? Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?” [This statement represents the Israelites naively asking “what did we do wrong?” The Divine sets forth to tell them.] Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day, and oppress all your workers. Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist. Such fasting as you do today will not make your voice heard on high. Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself? Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush, and to lie in sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD? Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?” (Verses 2 – 7)

I am reminded again of my intention to highlight a gentle, compassionate, merciful belief system. It seems to me that is what the Divine is asking of the Israelites. And does such a belief system not point to a gentle, compassionate, merciful God? (Forgive the reverse/set in the negative questioning. It is a type of rhetoric style.) These verses also point to a caring Lord God, and it seems that Isaiah is saying the Israelites have forgotten that is the type of Almighty the Divine is. But . . . . . it is not just the Israelites that have forgotten that. And that is why, beloved reader, I am setting forth on my intentions to prompt a gentle, compassionate, merciful belief system.

“Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. The LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.” (Verses 8 – 12)

I have written on numerous occasions about the challenges I face – health and other issues. I have also written about how the Divine has helped me through all those times. Beloved reader, I try very hard (do not always succeed but I try) to practice gentle, compassionate, merciful faith belief and spiritual disciplines. Now I understand better how and why the Divine has been there – because I have been there for others! Selah!