April 9: Righteousness

Isaiah 58:1-5

“Cry aloud, spare not; 
lift up your voice like a trumpet; 
tell My people their transgression, 
and the house of Jacob their sins.

Yet they seek Me daily, 
and delight to know My ways, 
as a nation that did righteousness, 
and did not forsake the ordinance of their God. 
They ask of Me the ordinances of justice; 
they take delight in approaching God.

 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen? 
Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’

“In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, 
and exploit all your laborers.

Indeed you fast for strife and debate, 
and to strike with the fist of wickedness. 
You will not fast as you do this day, 
to make your voice heard on high.

Is it a fast that I have chosen, 
a day for a man to afflict his soul? 
Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, 
and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? 
Would you call this a fast, 
and an acceptable day to the Lord?

Then as now, the people sought righteousness through their own efforts, doing what they thought God wanted.  But true righteousness can only come through God’s atonement that cleanses a heart full of sin.  Then and only then will our good works please God.  Those are His terms.


9 Golden Gate

The Golden Gate from the top of the Temple Mount

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