Read Isaiah 58:1-14
Ministry: Helping orphans and vulnerable children in Africa to live for God and to love others.
Missionaries: Tom & Sue Peters
We hear a lot these days about poverty around the world. Much of what we hear tends to try and make us feel guilty that, perhaps, we have more than many of those people. But really, we shouldn’t feel guilty unless, of course, we are doing nothing about it personally.
In Isaiah 58, it is clear that the people of Judah were going through the motions of being religious. For example, they were fasting, but they complained that it was as if God had “not seen it,” or that He had “not noticed” their efforts (v. 3). So, God explains to them what He really wanted, summarized in verse 10: “… 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.”
So, what does that mean?
- Instead of fasting (or being religious) to try and gain favor with God, reach out and help those who are in need around you.
- It includes not only meeting some physical needs (“the hungry”), but also meeting needs of people who are “oppressed.”
- When we act in such a way, it says that our “light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” This is very similar to what Jesus said in Matt. 5:16, “…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
You may ask yourself, “What can I do to make a dent in such an overwhelming problem as poverty and hunger?” In fact, many quote Scripture to say that poverty will never be eliminated. That may be true, but look at what Deuteronomy 15:11 says: “There will always be poor in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded towards [the] poor and needy in your land.” Notice that the key is that we are not just to acknowledge a problem, but we are to respond.
We are grateful that Grace Church has partnered with us in the VisionTrust ministry in Africa to respond to the needs of the orphans and vulnerable children. Praise God that His light is being seen on that continent as you help us! Keep up the great work!
Pray: Please pray for God’s provision for the VisionTrust ministry so that we can help these kids to grow to live for God and love others around them!