Chapter-a-Day Isaiah 20

Shocked! God told Isaiah son of Amoz, "Go, take off your clothes and sandals," and Isaiah did it, going about naked and barefooted. Isaiah 20:2 (MSG)

Picture it yourself. Isaiah, the man of God, naked and barefoot walking through the streets of Jerusalem. People's eyes growing wide as they came upon him. Women screaming and quickly looking the other way so they don't have to look at his pasty white butt. People quickly crossing the street to avoid him. Men standing outside the local pub jeering at him. Good church-going religious people screaming insults and picking up stones to throw at him to punish his despicable act of public indecency.

Scandalous.
Preposterous.
Shameful.

"Quick! Hide the children's eyes!"

Imagine the talk at the dinner table that night.

"Who does he think he is? He calls himself a prophet? A man of God would never do that! God wouldn't ask someone to do something like that!"

"He's crazy, I tell you. Completely insane. I've always said that Isaiah was a few bricks shy of a full load."

"I'm telling you right now, we're going to the temple tomorrow and having a talk with the high priest. I'm going to give him a piece of my mind. Either that crack-pot, Isaiah, gets thrown out of the temple for good or I'm not going to give one more shekel to the Temple renovation project!"

Yes, God told him to do it. God is a God of metaphor and the prophets were his mouthpiece. The people refused to heed God's words, so God told Isaiah to give the good religious people of Jerusalem a word picture they could not ignore.

The more I study God's Message the more I conclude that God is not as concerned about social propriety as many of the people who claim to be His most faithful followers. God is much more concerned with our sincere and active love - our honest and humble obedience than he is about our propriety and public image.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and dieselbug2007

One thought on “Chapter-a-Day Isaiah 20”

  1. I agree Tom. It makes me think of the religiosity that exists today. Are our churches any different than the Pharisees of Jesus’ time? I was reminded at youth group the other night in recounting some Bible stories how God used messed up people to bring His Message to us. Why do our churches forget that?

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