After reading this passage, my first thought was to put myself in the place of Isaiah.  I shudder at the thought of being physically exposed, walking around naked while people mock me and treat me as though I was a crazed and confused wounded animal.  This would be the ultimate in humiliation, right?  But because God told Isaiah to do it, he did it—for three years!  For three years, the prophet dressed like a prisoner of war, wearing only a loincloth, to demonstrate his message. It was a sign of things to come. 

God has a way of allowing us to encounter challenging situations to deal with before we deliver His message of truth to others. I have often asked God why must I live it before I speak it.  His answer is clear.  A message from God to tell others is better received from someone who has felt, seen, heard and walked the message themselves.  “Been there, done that” with lessons learned, brings out our humility, compassion, love, empathy and true sympathy for others who are currently living in the confusion and chaos of challenging circumstances. God wants us to “feel” the message He asks us to deliver with a humbled heart.   

Our real hope—all that we stake our lives upon, trust with all that is in us in faith, is exposed when troubles push us against the wall with what seems to be no place to go and nowhere to turn.

God is asking Isaiah to rid himself of all that protects him except from God alone.  Isaiah will experience what it will feel like to be exposed as an exile with everything taken away—including his dignity and pride. 

Isaiah 20, The Message

Exposed to Mockery and Jeers

20 1-2 In the year the field commander, sent by King Sargon of Assyria, came to Ashdod and fought and took it, God told Isaiah son of Amoz, “Go, take off your clothes and sandals,” and Isaiah did it, going about naked and barefooted.

3-6 Then God said, “Just as my servant Isaiah has walked around town naked and barefooted for three years as a warning sign to Egypt and Ethiopia, so the king of Assyria is going to come and take the Egyptians as captives and the Ethiopians as exiles. He’ll take young and old alike and march them out of there naked and barefooted, exposed to mockery and jeers—the bared buttocks of Egypt on parade! Everyone who has put hope in Ethiopia and expected help from Egypt will be thrown into confusion. Everyone who lives along this coast will say, ‘Look at them! Naked and barefooted, shuffling off to exile! And we thought they were our best hope, that they’d rescue us from the king of Assyria. Now what’s going to happen to us? How are we going to get out of this?’”


Isaiah, as all other prophets of God, reveal our real, everlasting, relentless, assured and “best hope” in Jesus throughout their messages.  Jesus who is our only Hope, the One and Only who saved us lived the message God told him to preach, too.  Jesus was stripped of his clothes, beaten beyond physical recognition, then marched through the streets with a cross on his shoulders.  He was mocked, jeered, gossiped about, and spit upon.  He came to earth in humbled form.  He lived the message of humility that Micah, the prophet, spoke who clearly said what God expects of us.  “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

Jesus did nothing of significance on earth without directions from His Father.  After getting instructions from God in daily prayer conversations, Jesus then said what God told Him to say and did what God told him to do.  “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does…”John 5;19-20

So, if Jesus, Son of God, does nothing without going to God, who are we to think we can do life with going to God first?  Just a thought, but a heart stopping thought…

For even greater emphasis and bears repeating, Jesus tells his followers, “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.”  John 5:30 It is in this same chapter, Jesus tells us he doesn’t seek the glory of man but of God alone.  His goal is to please the One who sent Him, the One and Only God, our Father, who loved the world (yes, all of us) so much He sent His own Son to save us from our sins.  Jesus, Our Hope.  Our only Hope.

I pray that our troubles expose where our real Hope lies—in Jesus Christ, Savior and our Lord.  When we are laid bare in humiliating circumstances beyond our control, may all we are, think, do or say be prompted by God, in the Name of Jesus, His Son, for His glory.  Yes!  And Amen!

“And I will be with you always…” –Jesus

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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