Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Naked and Barefoot


 
“In the year that Tartan came to Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him, and he fought against Ashdod and took it, at the same time the Lord spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, “Go, and remove the sackcloth from your body, and take your sandals off your feet.” And he did so, walking NAKED AND BAREFOOT.  Then the Lord said, “Just as My servant Isaiah has walked NAKED AND BAREFOOT FOR THREE YEARS for a sign and a wonder against Egypt and Ethiopia, so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians as prisoners and the Ethiopians as captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. Then they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation and Egypt their glory. And the inhabitant of this territory will say in that day, ‘Surely such is our expectation, wherever we flee for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria; and how shall we escape?’” – Isaiah 20


Sometimes God will ask you to do some strange things!  A faithful follower, like Isaiah, doesn’t question His voice or ask why, but just obeys.
Isaiah was asked to remove his sackcloth, which was a garment made of coarse goat hair.  It was the normal attire for a prophet.  He was also asked to remove his sandals, and then walk!  He did this for three years because God asked him to.  Some think he wore a loincloth to cover his genitals, but the Bible just says “naked”. 

God’s purpose in this was to show Judea the humiliation that would come to the people who joined with Ashdod, discouraging them to become an ally with Egypt.  Perhaps if they had not visually seen what would come of those who did, how they would be led away naked and barefoot, they would have joined.  Ancient carvings show the captives walking naked, just as Isaiah had prophesied.
How faithful was Isaiah to what God asked him to do?  God calls him “My Servant”.  There aren’t a lot of people in the Bible that God called “My Servant”.  To list them, it was Abraham, Moses, Caleb, Job, Eliakim, and Zerrubbabel.  That’s a short list of only seven people including Isaiah.

If God asked you to walk naked and barefoot for three years, could you do it? 

 

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