“What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?” says the Lord. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed cattle; and I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs, or goats. When you come to appear before Me, who requires of you this trampling of My courts? Bring your worthless offerings no longer, incense is an abomination to Me. New moon and Sabbath, the calling of assemblies—I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly. I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts, they have become a burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them. So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood. Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow."

Isaiah gives some timeless and practical guidance in these verses. Stop doing evil. Learn to do good. Seek justice. Reprimand the cruel and merciless. Defend the orphan. Plead for the widow.

These instructions are a great tool for examination in our lives. How does your life compare? Does your day often consist of these actions? Or are you struggling to recall the last time you have cared for others in these ways?

Who comes to mind when you think of these different categories? Who are the cruel, the orphans, the widows that you know? Ask God to use you to reach them.

• What similarities to do you see in today’s passage and yesterday’s?

• What is God calling you to do as your reflect on these passages from the last two days?

• Pray for the ruthless, the orphans, and the widows. Praise God for those who seek to do good and bless others.