Isaiah 58 When Worship Doesn’t Work

What drives the theology of Isaiah 58 is the commandment in Isaiah 58:1. Sermons that expose the sins of worshipers are not popular or fun to preach. God’s people are active in worship, but also just as active in sin.  Cf. Isaiah 58:1-2. This chapter gives us an opportunity to evaluate our worship practices. Isaiah’s description of God’s people creates yet another negative example (“go and do otherwise”). We can’t afford to worship the way they do and live like the devil (cf. Isaiah 58:4). Isaiah 58:6-7, 9-10, 13 show the kind of “fast” the Lord chooses for His people. All the “if you’s” are followed by “then you’s” to show the kind of healing God’s true worshipers experience when God’s condition is met (e.g., Isaiah 58:8-911-12, 14). In this section sin is exposed, exchanged for true righteous acts, and results in salvation. We’re living in a time when morality in the church matches the morality in the world. And this is taking place while we worship. Apparently, many church-goers are engaged in deficient worship. In order for someone to become righteous, they must first look to the one to whom Isaiah pointed. On the cross our Savior did indeed bow His head in the greatest act of humility (cf. Isaiah 58:5; John 19:30).

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