“Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh?”
God intends the personal spiritual tool of fasting to help us turn from sin, oppression and hypocrisy. Going hungry should help us have compassion for the hungry and the homeless (“the poor who are cast out”). Jesus Christ taught the importance of helping the needy in Matthew 25:35-36.
The last part of Isaiah 58:7 is translated in more modern language in the New Living Translation: “Do not hide from relatives who need your help.”
Fasting with the motivation to repent, change and give is pleasing to God. Isaiah 58:8-12 beautifully describes the blessings God wants to give those who fast in the way He has chosen.
For more about fasting, see our article “What Is Fasting?”