Today’s passage: Isaiah 20
- Historical background: At this time, the Philistines, Egyptians and Judah were all under the thumb (To different extents) of Assyria. The city of Ashdod (A Philistine city) had just been taken after a “rebellious” act and Egypt, whom the Philistines had aligned themselves with, was next, along with Cush.
- Isaiah is telling the people of Judah not to make the same mistake. Egypt couldn’t help the Philistines and they wouldn’t be able to help Judah either.
- In wearing sackcloth prior to God’s instructions, Isaiah evidenced he was already in a state of mourning.
- Isaiah was to share this prophecy through nakedness (The state of those who were to be taken captive for the purpose of humiliation) for three years.
- Isaiah did not have to remain naked for three years straight, 24/7…
- There would have been times, places, people that were to receive this sign and prophecy over a three year period.
- Just because God gave Isaiah this highly unusual task, does not mean that it should be normalized or expected from people today. It was a humiliation, it still is a humiliation.
- That was the point. As the people of Egypt and Cush will be led away in nakedness, so will the people of Judah (Isaiah being the example) if they should seek protection from Egypt.
Questions to consider:
- What is God telling the people of Judah through this prophecy? Who were they to trust in?
- In what way would the sign of nakedness even the playing field as far as viewing the different peoples as superior or inferior? Were the Egyptians superior to Judah? Were the Assyrians even superior? What did they all have in common? Were any of them on a level where they could compete with the LORD of hosts?
- Jesus promised that Christians would have tribulation and persecution in this world. (John 16:33, John 15:20) So, to say that if we trust God nothing bad like losing a battle or being taken captive will ever happen to us would be a wrong application. But, what does Romans 8:31-39 teach us?