Isaiah 58:3–9b – "Grace in Action" – J. P. Kang
1. Does the word “discipline” have a more negative or positive sense to you? Which do you tend to focus on more, the cost or benefit of discipline? How has that changed, if at all, as you have grown older?
2. Abstaining from food and drink is often a visible form of purification or purging for one’s own benefit. What are some less visible or tangible parts of our lives that could also benefit from the discipline of fasting?
3. How important is the integrity of thoughts and actions to true worship and true fasting? Read Amos 5:21–24 and Isaiah 1:12–17 where God rejects worship and offerings from those who would appear with blood-stained hands and then compare Isaiah 58:3b–4a.
4. What does Isaiah 58 teach us about the differing kind of fasting that is genuinely acceptable and pleasing to God? Who else is to benefit from this redefined fasting?
5. Elsewhere we are reminded that “the LORD does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:16). How does this help us check our motivations for worship and service?