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  • Writer's pictureS Buisch

Isaiah 20

The emperor's new clothes before the emperor

Perhaps you thought the story of the King who hired someone to redo his wardrobe

was the first embarrassing story about attire with a moral message.

Being a prophet for the living God is never easy or predictable. We have

heard Isaiah told to name his child 'spoil speeds plunder hurries' Is 8.

But now God asks/tells/commands Isaiah to go around naked and barefoot for three years.

No doubt the barefoot piece was problematic in its own way because of the

issues on the ground at that time.

I find it incredibly curious that Isaiah lists no challenge to 'God'. I also expect that the

first day or week was tough but the continued practice for three years must have had

its own issues. What was it like when the three years were over? did anyone notice?

How much was Isaiah listened to for those three years?

There is the key. Israel and several other nations between Assyria and Egypt/Ethiopia

were aware of the growing strength of Assyria. They were aware that they were next

in being overcome and taken under that reign. Seemingly they forgot who was

really in command and who they needed to trust in. Those nations were trusting the

ever large Egypt and its near neighbor Ethiopia. The staggering part of this story

is the extremes that God's messengers would go to convince their listeners of the truth.

Isaiah spent three years naked to reinforce that Egypt and Ethiopia would be

captured and taken into slavery naked and barefoot.

For me it begs the question who do I trust in today? Political power or justice, compassion

and forgiveness.


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