Life-Study of Isaiah, by Witness Lee

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Isaiah 58:1-9a describes the hypocrisy of the house of Jacob. They fasted, but they did many things in pursuit of their own interests. They did not rest in God nor take Him as their nourishment and life supply. This was their hypocrisy.

Concerning those who fast in a genuine way, verses 8 and 9 say, "Then your light will break forth like the dawn, / And your recovery will speedily spring forth./And your righteousness will go before you;/The glory of Jehovah will guard you from behind./Then you will call, and Jehovah will answer;/You will cry out, and He will say, Here I am." If we fast in the way of contacting the Lord, taking Him as our nourishment and sustaining power, our light will break forth like the dawn. Otherwise, we will be in darkness.


Verses 9b through 14 are the instruction of Jehovah to the house of Jacob.

A. Removing the Yoke from Their Midst,
the Pointing of the Finger
and the Speaking of Wickedness

Verse 9b is a word about removing the yoke from their midst, the pointing of the finger and the speaking of wickedness. In the church life today, some may gossip about others and criticize them. To do this is to point the finger at others and to put a yoke on them. Some may think that they are right and others are wrong, that they are spiritual and others are not serious with the Lord. As a result, these ones condemn others in the church life, and their condemnation becomes a yoke on others’ shoulders. For instance, an elder may be criticized to such an extent that he does not know how to serve as an elder. In the eyes of certain saints, he is wrong, no matter what he does. He must bear the yoke of criticism and condemnation.

Verse 10a goes on to speak of drawing out our soul to the hungry and satisfying the desires of the afflicted. This is to be merciful to others and to sympathize with them.

(Life-Study of Isaiah, Chapter 29, by Witness Lee)